In September 2007 the TV sitcom ‘The Big Bang Theory’ made its debut. The show featured two Mensa calibre physicists Sheldon and Leonard employed at the California Institute of Technology. These boys are geeks to the core, but Sheldon is an especial piece of work!
Though adept at genius calculations in quantum physics and numerous other complex theorems that few if any viewers would comprehend, Sheldon is inept at social interaction. He approaches it with Spock-like rote memorization of social rules which he attempts to strictly apply–usually with devastating or insulting results!
Penny: “Guess what ?”
Sheldon: “I don’t guess. As a scientist I reach conclusions based on observation and experimentation. Although, as I’m saying this, it occurs to me that you may have been employing a rhetorical device, rendering my response moot.”
The show aired its 279th and final episode just this past May after a twelve year run. Some 23.4 million viewers tuned in. With that kind of viewership I’m thinking a good number of you may get the picture when I say it has been my observation that much of Christendom’s praying resembles Sheldon’s attempts at social interactions.
I’ve heard some Christians “praying” The Lord’s Prayer or dutifully reciting text previously written in full ‘King James’ jargon as if it were an incantation or awkward and somber soliloquy? Why? Well… thats the way “its” done, right? But, do you talk like to any human person like that? Do you talk that way to a baby… to a dog?
“Big Bang” praying is distant, emotionless, impersonal and mechanical. It sounds more like a recital than a relationship. I don’t think folk are trying to be hypocritical, but many believers just don’t understand what a simple and natural thing prayer is.
Talk to Him with respect but also with closeness and privileged intimacy. Yes, He is a great King of kings, but, miracle of miracles, He has also adopted all who trust in Him into His Royal Family!
In the book of Hebrews we read “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence…” (Heb. 4:16a), and “Jesus is not ashamed to call them [i.e. those trusting in Him for salvation] brothers and sisters.” (Heb. 2:11). While He was yet among us in bodily form on this earth Jesus comforted His disciples, saying “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” (Luke 12:32). And He promises us, “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” (John 14:14).
Talk to God as you would talk to your best friend. After all, He is, isn’t He?
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