By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep;
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.

This little mechanical, obligatory prayer
Imposed itself upon me in childhood
by my parents.
Prayed it every night;
without understanding a word.
“Death” to a child is like trying
to define divorce or murder.
It’s not a graspable concept.
It’s a scary, illusive concept.
The prayer frightened me.
God frightened me.
I didn’t like to pray.
To this day I grow restless with forms of liturgy or manufactured sentiment;
And that which is mechanical, imposed, obligatory, ritualistic, and rote;
My soul finds dry, irksome, and tedious.
God is alive; He is real.
He is not a mechanical being waiting to hear a rehearsal of Christian flavored words.
He longs for me to be simple, exposed, trusting, real, and without pretense.
He longs for me to approach Him with unguarded words,
an unmasked heart …
and a simple sinner’s language;
To talk plainly, clearly, and truthfully.
To speak in a way that demonstrates that
I know who I am …
And I know who He is.

This is prayer to me.
Speak plainly; He’ll get the message.
Call unto Me and I will answer thee,
and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.
Jeremiah 33:3