From the bathtub, an eight-year-old voice can be heard. “Mom?”
“Yes, what is it?”
Can you hear me?”
“Yes, what do you need?”
Can I ask you a favor?”
“Yes, what is it that you want?”
Can you get me a towel?”

It’s been twenty years, but I still remember the effort it took for my daughter to get my attention at times. If she had to resort to calling me by my “work name,” I knew I was in trouble. It occurred to me last week that we often organize our written prayers and liturgy in much the same way. We make use of glorious adjectives to address God by God’s “work name.” We remind God of incidents from the past. We frame it all in some introductory fluff before finally getting to the heart of the matter. And even then, our requests can be fancied up in such a way that some might not even get what we’re after. Don’t get me wrong. I love language. I appreciate a creative and well-crafted prayer, but sometimes, I think we might be wise to model a more direct approach. So here goes!

God, could you please give me a bit more energy to get through Advent? Thank you! Amen

Pastor Heidi Rodrick-Schnaath currently serves as the Interim Pastor at Christ’s Lutheran Church in Oreland, Pennsylvania. She is trying her best to pay attention to calls from the other room, especially the ones that are holier in nature.

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