When called upon to pray aloud in a group, an evangelical automatically says "just" a few dozen times during the course of the prayer. This doesn't happen when other flavors of Christians such as Catholics or Episcopalians pray, but an evangelical cannot help it.
"We just come before you today, Father God, and just ask that you pour out your spirit upon us. Just renew our hearts and help us know your plan. Knock down any barriers in our hearts and just show your will to us and, uh, just help us love you."
This post and the ensuing comment thread originally appeared here on Beliefnet.
AND saying "Lord", "God", "Jesus", "Father" repeatedly.
We'd never say someone else's name like that when talking to them ...
I just think it's got something to do with people being just a bit uncomfortable with speaking in public. They just want to do a good job and just want to hurry up and not say anything too, just, stupid.
I'm just as guilty as the next evangelical on this one, but I have been working on it.
back (and I mean WAY back) in my youth, I found myself doing this. I could not understand it at all.
I think people do this because they subconsciously think it will increase the chances of God's answering their prayers.
"Lord, we just ask you to .. just heal Bob's flu" really means "God, work with me, I'm not asking for much here."
Don't forget to put a tongue click before each 'just'.
"I think people do this because they subconsciously think it will increase the chances of God's answering their prayers."
And STILL they get stiffed...
Okay, anonymous, you really should have identified yourself. :D
If you had, I could have thanked you for the astute tongue click observation.
In my region we also play 'How many of his names do you think I have to use before God starts listening? Like, which one will he respond to? Any takers?'
I think Jesus says not to do that, I may be wrong, I'm about to go look it up.
We don't have to butter God up or say the right combo because he's not a tyrant or a cosmic vending machine.
I agree about "just". It's just awful. It really sounds like either 'please don't be a stingy jerk this time' or 'I'm holy so I only ask for the bare minimum.'
Either way, "just" seems to be more about our egos, even if it's become unintentional prayer-filler.
Even better if the names are combined: "Father God, we just ask you to..." or, "We just come before you now, Lord Jesus, to just praise you...."
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