Prayers that make you cringe

Surprisingly, it’s a grey day here in the normally sun-drenched Pacific Northwest. Someone said to me that they were “glad to have the moisture,” and that sent me into a ruminative tailspin, for “moisture” is one of those prayer terms that just makes me giggle.

When used in prayer, “moisture” strikes me as crazily inappropriate or bizarre, unless you are referring to a Duncan-Hines cake sitting on the table in front of you. In addition to “we thank Thee for the moisture…,” I have heard the variant of “precipitation,” which is thankfully more meteorological than “moisture,” but snicker-worthy nonetheless. It is one step away from thanking the Maker for the low-pressure zone circulating over the Pacific trough.

What prayer phrases give you the giggles?

Should you feel inclined to censure a post that pokes fun at the Saints, spare me your wrath – I know full well that it’s an awful, awful thing to make fun of oft-repeated phrases in prayers. But if the Lord didn’t want us to make fun of such things, He wouldn’t have made them so funny.

Comments

  1. My mom always used to pray for “the hands that prepared the food”. We all got into the habit. Now I wonder, “why just the hands?”

  2. Josephine Dynamite says:

    I enjoy prayers, especially common at YSA activities, which are given to bless the refreshments “that they may nourish and strengthen our bodies” when we know full well they consist of brownies, donuts, chips, cupcakes, pop, and coolaid.

    A friend of mine said she was at one of these activities where the prayer was being said over the food, which again consisted of very unwholesome treats. The individual asked that the Lord would bless the refreshments and then, after a pause, stated simply, “Do what you can.”

    JD

  3. Last Lemming says:

    OK, it’s not an oft repeated phrase, but “Please bless the Washington Redskins” has to rank right up there in cringeworthiness.

    Note. I was not a witness to the prayer in question, but later met the brother who allegedly uttered it and find the story to be totally believable.

  4. Sorry Steve, I think today might be the most beautiful day of the year in New York. Perfect temperature, not humid, sunny, slight breeze…it’s incredible.

    My dad always likes to make fun of those who pray that something “might” happen because it might happen whether you pray for it or not.

  5. Julie M. Smith says:

    Last,

    I have a distinct recollection of being in the Austin university ward–this would have been 93-95 or thereabouts–and there was a prayer, closing sacrament meeting I believe, that included the phrase, “we know there is a decisive logic in the blessings for which we ask” and I’m thinking, huh, that’s a little weird, and then after a few more throw-away phrases, a prayer that the Redskins would win that day. It was truly horrific.

  6. I know it’s bad and can also be used as a ‘something that makes me giggle about Sacrament Meeting Talks’ but I’d have to say ‘NameGeezcrysmen’ – delight especially increased when the person uses the term as their head is turning away from the microphone on the way to their seat or out the door (Primary and Sunday School).

  7. I was visiting Atlanta for my friends’ wedding and at Church in one prayer, the guy thanked God for Georgia. I told my friend Tim, “Boy, you guys sure love your state.”

    He opined that the Georgia in reference was the UGA football team.

    Not quite an oft repeated phrase, but it made me giggle.

  8. It’s also fun to do family/couple prayers and say funny things about your spouse right in front of her (“please forgive Sara for eating before the prayer and bless the food that it won’t poison her as a result of her wickedness”) or whatever.

  9. My number 3 son always prayes to get taller.

    It appears to be working. Slowly.

  10. My daughter consistently prays that she will “not forget ballet.” Of course, being 3, she’s never been to any classes…

  11. Julie, I would have paid good money to be there for the “Decisive Logic” prayer. Classic!

    A mission companion related to me the story of one Sunday dinner at Uncle Hal (Eyring)’s place. Uncle Hal asks his son to bless the food, and the son replies, “sure, Dad,” and stands and gently places his hands on the turkey. Sacrilicious!

    Ever pray for just nourishment? or just strength? They are inseparable. It would be like having a Mike but no Ike.

  12. Lately we’ve been praying that our 13 month old son will learn to communicate with us in some way other than whining. We haven’t phrased it exactly like that yet, but we may have to in order to make it perfectly clear what we actually want. :)

  13. Well,

    realize that in Utah, we don’t typically get “rain.”

    “Moisture” is about all we can expect most of the time.

  14. You know, I have always wondered if the stock phraseology employed in canned Mormon prayers got translated hyper-literally into various foreign languages by American missionaries going abroad, and then it ended up being incorporated and formalized into local prayer customs.

    Like was the phrase “may no harm or accidents befall us” translated into all the different languages at the MTC and then propegated throughout the world?

  15. I had a mission companion who once prayed that, “we would have so many baptisms that when President found out he would pee his pants!” We then peed ours while laughing.

    The same companion also prayed that, while traveling to a town several miles away, we’d be able to hitch-hike successfully so as to save our bus money.

  16. “Grant us a portion of Thy spirit”

    Why only a portion? What size?

    “…grateful we can sit at the feet of…”

    That always strikes me a funny. We sit on upholstered furniture in air conditioned comfort, but still want to think we are sitting on the ground somewhere.

    A friend who is otherwise quite sane uses scripture language in public prayers. He says things like “…it must needs be…” LOL.

  17. The Sugar Beet once ran a story, “Man Chastised for Improper Precipitation Reference in Prayer.” I linked to it in a post about my favorite Sugar Beet stories, but the Beet archives seem to have gone the way of all the earth.

  18. Eric Russell says:

    While in early morning seminary – before having been to the temple – I had a seminary teacher who had a “prayer board” which consisted of a posterboard on which anyone could write the names of people they wanted to be blessed. During every opening prayer, we were supposed to bless “everyone on the prayer board.” I was totally weirded out. To make things worse, you could just write a line of x’s if you wanted the name to be private. Most people did this, so there we were, praying for a bunch of x’s.

  19. On my mission in Hong Kong, we occasionally had members who would open their prayers by wishing Heavenly Father good morning/good evening/etc. Apparently it was a local custom. Eventually, our mission president instructed us to discourage members from using such comments.

  20. I cringe when I hear “… and please bless the missionaries…” and all of its variants.

    Not that they don’t need the blessings, but we never seem to pray to have our own missionary experiences. It’s always someone elses job.

  21. I have it on good authority that every food prayer President Hinckley (and family) give is the following: “Dear Heavenly Father, we are grateful for this food and we ask thee to please bless it. In the name of…”

  22. The Beet archives live on (excuse the strange punctuation):

    Precipitation

  23. My dear grandmother prays for BYU football. I kid you not. 3rd and long and Grandma has reverently bowed her head and asks for the wide recievers to run their routes correctly and for a long pass and bountiful yardage. Success is attributed to her prayers, failure to a lack of righteousness of the players (or more recently Gary Crowton).

    As an Aggie, it makes me cringe, but because it’s my 87 year old grandma, it’s kind of endearing too.

  24. J. Stapley says:

    I imagine that if you took saints from different regions they would each find novelties in each others prayers. I know my wife thought I was a little odd becasue I would close my prayers “in the name of Jesus, amen” instead of the titular proper nouns.

    In France, many members insert “Pere Celeste” (Father in Heaven) after or within every sentence.

  25. Tom,
    As a fellow Aggie, I am constantly praying for the failure of BYU’s football team. Perhaps my prayers sometimes override or cancel out your Grandma’s and vice versa.

    Also, when my little sister was about 5-6 years old she used to always pray for our neighbor’s dog.

  26. 19. “On my mission in Hong Kong, we occasionally had members who would open their prayers by wishing Heavenly Father good morning/good evening/etc. Apparently it was a local custom. Eventually, our mission president instructed us to discourage members from using such comments.”

    That makes me sad (that he’d ask them not to do that)! I prayed like that before I joined the Church, and it’s part of what made me feel like I had a personal relationship with God.

  27. Regarding Julie’s comment #5, I just can’t believe that anyone in Texas would ever pray for the well-being of the Washington Redskins.

    In our mealtime prayers, we try to be realistic. For example, “we pray that the pizza of which we are about to partake will not do us any undue damage.”

  28. C (6 year old ds) was still setting the table. Everyone else was sitting waiting to eat. Dh says, “C, close your eyes, its time for prayer.”
    Dh proceeds to pray.
    I close my eyes, but could help but half open them and try not to laugh as C continues to place cups next to his dad, his big sister and his own plate while keeping his eyes closed! By the end of the prayer he was in his seat.

  29. Does “bondadoso” ring any bells?

  30. I remember in my childhood, my little brother learning to pray. One time he asked my dad “What should I pray for?” My dad responded “Just tell Heavenly Father what’s in your heart.”

    The prayer was as follows:

    “Heavenly Father, there is blood in my heart. In the name of….”

    Priceless!

  31. anonymous (for obvious reasons) says:

    Danger of TMI:

    Whenever my husband and I get frisky before getting out of bed and having morning prayers, and it’s his turn to pray, he expresses his gratitude to Heavenly Father that we were able to have sex. Then again, my husband is somewhat informal in his prayer language. It took some getting used to, but who am I to tell someone else how to pray?

    Anon, anon

  32. Tom (#23): does your grandma actually use the phrase “bountiful yardage”? I hope so. That’s friggin’ awesome.

    There was a guy in my old ward who would ask a blessing upon the “needies” rather than just “the needy.” I don’t know why the incorrect pluralization struck me as so dang funny, but it did.

  33. BarnacleBoy says:

    When I was a missionary, Domino’s came out with a pizza called “The Dominator,” which of course had to be tried. I said what I thought was a pretty typical prayer over our lunch, but for the rest of my two years that companion would never let me forget the time I asked God to “Please bless the Dominator.”

  34. “Bless the Dominator” Awesome.

    My first companion’s name was Zimmerman, yet nobody in Guatemala could come close to pronouncing it so he told everyone it sounds like “Superman” to help them out.

    The day before I was to be transferred from the area, we went to an investigators so I could say farewell. Before leaving the house, he offered to say the prayer which went something like, “Please bless Jacobo wherever he may go, and be with him Lord. And give this, this, this Superman the strength to carry on…”

    It took everything we had to not start laughing in the middle of what was really a sincere prayer.

  35. #31- That’s the funniest thing I’ve read on the internet all day long.

    Jeremy #32- I don’t recall that specific phrase, but she maintains the most reverent decorum and turns off the TV, with full King James langauge of “thees” and “thous” and will often sometimes bargain with the Lord that if He grants a completion she will do certain acts of goodwill or service.

  36. It would probably be really blasphemous, but I have always been tempted to memorize the following prayer that is recited at just about every rodeo I’ve ever attended. I would just love to rattle it off at my parents house the next time I’m there for Sunday dinner and they call upon me to pray:

    “Our gracious and heavenly Father, we pause in the midst of this festive occasion, mindful and thoughtful of the guidance that you have given us.

    As cowboys, Lord, we don’t ask for any special favors, we ask only that you let us compete in this arena, as in lifes arena. We don’t ask to never break a barrier, or to draw a round of steer that’s hard to throw, or a chute fighting horse, or a bull that is impossible to ride. We only ask that you help us to compete as honest as the horses we ride and in a manner as clean and pure as the wind that blows across this great land of ours.

    So when we do make that last ride that is inevitable for us all to make, to that place up there, where the grass is green and lush and stirrup high, and the water runs cool, clear, and deep -

    You’ll tell us as we ride in that our entry fees have been paid.

    These things we ask – Amen.”

  37. Thomas Parkin says:

    For a while my then two-year old son had a rote prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you that waves are safe*, thank you for the people sittin on the bench, thank you that I love mama, Jesus Christ, Amen.

    I don’t know if that’s funny – but he’s my kid and so I found it infinitely precious.

    He has now moved on to the important things of life and routinely thanks God for his toys and that he doesn’t have to share his bedroom. But very sweetly.

    T

    * his world view didn’t encompass tsunamis

  38. Regarding Comment #16

    “Grant us a portion of Thy spirit”
    Why only a portion? What size?

    I once got ripped for saying this in prayer. I still haven’t gotten over it and feel a silly desire to defend it.

    The first reson is that Alma used it in a prayer:

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/alma/17/9#9

    The second is that it is theologically consitant with the idea that the Spirit does not have a body and can be many places at once. We can’t have all of it. Let the him decide how much.

    I love this post by the way. I haven’t laughed out loud reading a blog for a long time.

  39. My DH always asks for blessings on our local leaders generally, and then specificifies them by saying “…even Bishop So-&-So and his counselors….” It’s the “even” that makes me snicker inwardly, as if Bishop So-&-So and his counselors would be the LAST ones the Lord would want to bless otherwise….

  40. Thomas Parkin says:

    That ‘even’ always gets me wondering.

    our prophet, even Gordon B. Hinckley … hm. Is there any difference in this clause if you leave out the ‘even?’

    Also, unrelatedly, why always the initials with General Authorities? Come to think of it, I think they use the initials while sustaining local leaders at, say, a ward or general conference, too. At what point will I become Thomas __R__ Parkin, and stop simply being Brother Parkin.

    ~

  41. When I was a newly-minted deacon, I went to a mutual activity and gave the opening prayer. It taught me a harsh lesson: give the most generic prayer possible in public. To this day I am mocked for the words I used.

  42. I’ve always wondered if there shouldn’t be a limit on the number of adjectives we can tack on the front of Father in Heaven when addressing him, so we don’t get “Our most kind, gracious, eternal, wonderful, spectacular, merciful, omnnipotent, perspicacious, benevolent Father in Heaven….”

    I also wonder why we need to tell Him who it is that is addressing him, as in “We, a few of thy children, assembled here today in Sacrament Meeting, come before thee now…” Couldn’t you accomplish the same thing with just “We?” Just get to the point. Thank him. Ask him. He knows who it is already.

    I am also bothered by the need to tell Heavenly Father how much humility we have, as in “in deepest humility we ask thee…” He knows whether we are humble or not, and no amount of telling Him we are humble is going to change that if we aren’t.

  43. MDS – right on. Also, ever notice how it’s only the people who “could not be with us this week” that get blessed? COME ON!! What am I sitting there for??

  44. “We’re thankful for …”

    *cringe*

    During our especially patriotic 4th of July sacrament meeting this year, I was treated to this phrase being combined with “President Bush” and we are thankful “that he is a good leader who doesn’t lead us astray.”

  45. My post at #44 is supposed to say *insert name of political leader here* after we are thankful for…

  46. #40…You would have enjoyed being in the MTC when I was there, when we shouted out the names of General Authorities in time to our callisthenics. To keep the beat it was “Marion G Romney, LeGraaaaaand Richards…”

    The Practical Mormon

  47. Thanks for all the chuckles.

    I had a companion who tongue in cheek, would look in the mirror and introduce himself: “We will now be pleased to hear from Elder Harmon Danger, of the Seventy.”

  48. Another Mormon prayer pet peeve: sentences lacking both a subject and a predicate. Such sentences usually begin with the words “Grateful for…” People who pray in this way sometimes (but not always) supply the “we are” the first time, then imply it for the remainder prayer, as if it were a power point slide:

    We are:
    -Grateful to be gathered here this day.
    -Grateful for the moisture we have received.
    -Grateful for our beloved Prophet.

    RE: #31, sex and prayers. Once on a tradeoff a rather irreverent but sincere and funny missionary in my zone said. “So, are you supposed to say family prayer on your wedding night? And what are you supposed to say? Please bless that we can perform to the best of our abilities? !!!*

    *In case “Perform to the best of our abilities” isn’t a prayer phrase familiar to you: that’s what we’d say in the prayer before a choir or band concert — and yes, I lived in a place where such prayers regularly took place.

  49. I, too, think it’s sad that those people were encouraged not to say “Good Morning” to the Lord. I do it all the time.

    But I bet if I said it in public prayer, somebody would complain.

    You wouldn’t believe the hubbub when Bill and I got asked to pray in sacrament and I insisted on praying first. It was only because I didn’t want to be nervous the whole meeting and it doesn’t bother Bill to pray. You’d’ve thunk I said I should be prophet how the men in the room got offended.

  50. Some of my younger siblings would innocently change the “please don’t allow any harm or accident to befall us” to “please don’t allow any harm or accident to fall upon us”. It was hard not to giggle, because I always pictured a huge, shiny black grand piano coming out of the sky, cartoon-anvil-style, to just miss one of us.

  51. S. P. Bailey says:

    A small group of friends together for dinner. My dear friend prays over the food. Everything normal until he says, in perfect Ned Flandersian, “Lord, we thank thee for this scrump-didly-umptuous food!”

  52. S. P. Bailey says:

    My two-year-old praying has been fun too. She prays with minimal prompting, but only regarding things she can see (she hasn’t mastered the eye-closing). Then a few weeks ago she decides to sing her prayers. “Weeeeee thaaaaaaaaaaank theeeeeee!” The tune is some freaky twentieth century thing based on a 12-tone scale. And every vowel sound has its own fermata. She is unbelievably cute.

  53. I don’t think this is exactly giggle-worthy, but it’s a bit disconcerting in the same vein of the many adjectives before HF’s name (most kind, gracious, etc.). At some mysterious point after my mom started being a temple worker, her adjectives at the end of prayers kept getting longer and longer. “we say this in the name of our most beloved, and gracious savior, our lord, and master, …” Now when I say a prayer with her and I simply close in the name of Jesus Christ, I feel kind of lazy, like my prayer isn’t humble enough!

    Also, this praying before or after “romance” thing. Either way, it just feels weird. Before: gets you out of the mood. After, feels kind of embarrassing! Ick.

  54. One prayer item that makes me cringe, or at least pause, is “please protect the troops that are protecting our freedoms.” While I love the troops, I think that it is not fair to leave out the troops who are being used by our government to cause and perpetuate death and instability in the world. Or maybe they really do think that the Iraq war is making us more safe and free.

  55. Chris, here in Seattle, the Temple workers are instructed to remove any references to the war and soldiers from thier prayer rituals. This is likely due to the diverse political atmosphere here and to our proximity to Canada. That said, I have a friend who lost a son in Iraq and I am moved to hear the prayers for the soldiers. Yeah, perhaps it is not appropriate for the world-wide general conference, but I would be happy to say amen to a prayer for the soldiers.

  56. My friend’s two-year-old nephew consistently, when giving the meal blessing, prays “that our parents won’t get spider bites and our curtains won’t fall down.”

    Giggle.

  57. J. Stapley,

    I agree, however, let’s look at the statement, “please protect the troops that are protecting our freedoms” specifically in relation to the war in Iraq. The statement that they are “protecting our freedoms” implies that the War in Iraq was a justified war, a fact that is most certainly in dispute. I think that is perhaps where Chris was going. And while most of the church is conservative and Republican there are many that sincerely feel otherwise regarding Bush and the War in Iraq. Such prayers could make them feel uncomfortable and marginalized.

    As an opponent against the war, I recognize the importance of seperating accountability for Bush’s mistake from our brave soldiers. We should pray for them. Thank God that they are willing to serve at a moments notice even when the action is questionable and controversial. That’s why a more subtle prayer is probably appropriate, “please protect the troops that are willing to serve this nation”. AND please bless the families of those serving, AND please bless those innocent people in Iraq that have been adversely affected by this tragedy. May they have “a portion of Thy spirit”.

  58. J.,

    I think that we should pray for soldiers, I do it all the time. I feel for them and have only positive regard for them. I, like many, balk at the idea that we are protecting our freedom by conducting such wars. This seems implied by the phrase that I hear most often. I view soldiers as courageous and honorable (with certain exceptions). They are among the many victims of a policy gone mad.

    Of course, I do not think that the brother or sister praying in Sunday School is thinking about American foreign policy when they are praying. Maybe, I should not be thinking about it while they are praying either.

  59. Steve Evans says:

    suddenly my post isn’t funny anymore. DAMN YOU WAR PROTESTERS!!!

  60. Steve, Sorry about that. I find everything at Church funny. It is how I survive the three hours.

    My favorite prayers are those of my four-year-old who regularly prayers for Wal-Mart (his favorite place for obtaining new Star Wars toys).

  61. John Taber says:

    Of course, I do not think that the brother or sister praying in Sunday School is thinking about American foreign policy when they are praying. Maybe, I should not be thinking about it while they are praying either.

    The former bishop who gave the closing prayer in my ward this last Sunday certainly was. Said prayer included something along the lines of “bless our troops in the Middle East . . . that they will be successful.”

  62. HP/JDC: You know, I’ve always liked that phrase your mother put in, and I’ve incorporated it into my own. Although, I never wondered why it was just the hands. I just thought it was sweet to think of them.

    #11: For some reason, it always makes me cringe when people are asked to bless the food. Sure, it’s just semantics, but what you should be asking is for them to ask for a blessing on the food. Ever hear anyone say “I bless this food in the name of …”?

    Oh, and I have really bad feelings for the people who pray for snow here in Utah. Because I hate snow!

  63. Mark Pickering says:

    My dad used to criticize my sisters for saying “bless that,” as in, “Bless that we will feel the Spirit.” Clearly ungrammatical.

    It also bothers me when people attempt unsuccessfuly to pray in Elizabethan English. It’s “shouldst,” not “should,” etc. If we’re going to tell ourselves that 400-year old English is more reverent, we at least should give classes in it. Also, it is good to note that thee-thy-thou used to be reserved for those one didn’t know well, and you-your-you was reserved for intimates like friends and family. In English, Mormons address God as a monarch or other fearsome, distant figure. In every other language that has different second-person pronouns based on intimacy, they do the opposite.

    Also, I caused a stir once by praying that Bin Laden would get caught. Shame on me!

  64. Our 5 year old granddaugter caught everyone’s attention at the dinner table when she included the request “Please bless Daddy that he won’t die of his fatness!”

  65. My mom still tells of when she was teaching me to pray (we joined the church when I was three).

    When I wasn’t demanding punishments for “Wicked King Noah” or to “cut off ALL the arms of those wicked Laminites!”, I was usually asking “please, PLEASE don’t let me have big hurkin’ BOOBS like my mom!!!!”

    How she managed a straight face and to contain her snickering shows what a good mom she is.
    …I just worry what my kids will say when they start saying prayers.

  66. Steve,

    As an attempt (perhaps lame) to return this post to your intent: The Hugh B. Brown account of a small boy saying his prayers and blessing “President McKay, who stands on his head, in the church”.

    Sorry, that’s all I could think of for now.

  67. It’s not that funny, but I have always been intrigued by the way certain people will but “might” in front of all the things they ask for. “Bless us that we might be safe and that we might have the spirit and that we might be nice to one another…”

    I feel like telling them they can start praying to me because if all they want is the possibility of all those things, I can grant that myself.

    Great post, I laughed myself silly.

  68. Sometimes it isn’t what you say, but how much you say. A gentle, earnest soul in our ward was for years “put on the clock” by my family every time he got up to say the prayer in Sacrament Meeting. Although it was a secret, someone must have told him as apparently he took the challenge and went for a distance record every time. We are talking epic prayers! First there is anticipation, then bordom, and then it turns funny. By the way, he stopped being called for prayers for years…but under a new bishop he’s back! On a side note, he is the only person I have ever seen run a talk so long, that the bishop had to get up and gently encourage him to wrap it up.

    As for your wedding night, I think the Lord can wait until after…and a simple, enthusiastic THANK YOU.

  69. TyB – A few years back I attended the baptism of an 8 year-old in our ward here on the East Coast. His grandparents from SLC were in attendence and I got the distinct impression that Grandpa was upset that he was only asked to give the opening prayer and not a talk. The prayer lasted much longer than most talks at baptisms and covered essentially the same material.

  70. An experience from my youth (too many years ago) a young boy (probably about 5 years old) stood in testimony meeting and expressed thanks for his parents “and all the things they’ve done to me.”

  71. When I was younger I once looked over the dinner table and then paraphrased Joseph Smith’s “Johnny cake” prayer. Unfortunately for me, my parents didn’t find it funny.

    From John Lyman Smith:

    “In my early years I used to often eat at the table with Joseph the Prophet. At one time he was called to dinner. I being at play in the room with his son Joseph, he called us to him, and we stood one each side of him. After he had looked over the table he said, ‘Lord, we thank Thee for this Johnny cake, and ask Thee to send us something better. Amen.’ The corn bread was cut and I received a piece from his hand.

    Before the bread was all eaten, a man came to the door and asked if the Prophet Joseph was at home. Joseph replied he was, whereupon the visitor said, ‘I have brought you some flour and a ham.’

    Joseph arose and took the gift, and blessed the man in the name of the Lord. Turning to his wife, Emma, he said, ‘I knew the Lord would answer my prayer.’”

  72. I can’t think of something more quintessentially Justin. I would love to have seen your parents face.

  73. Steve Park says:

    I’ve tried to take the common prayer phrases we use and put my own spin on them. For instance, when we were having a family party with all the relatives and I was offering a blessing on the food, I said “please bless this food, the hands that prepared it, and the very sexy arms attached to those hands” (referring to my wife). That got more than a few chuckles.

    There was another time I was asked to bless the doughnuts and punch at a ward function. Thinking it was somewhat ridiculous to ask a blessing on junk food, I said “please bless these doughnuts that they will not clog our arteries or give us coronaries, at least before we leave the room.”

    Blasphemy? Maybe to some, but I’m inclined to believe Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. After all, He sends hormonally-challenged 19 year olds on full-time missions.

  74. Steve Park says:

    Re: 53

    There’s one possibly therapeutic function of praying right before or after getting your freak on: pretending HF isn’t watching.

    BTW, since we’re supposed to open and close religious gatherings with prayer, and since “doing it” is a godly act, shouldn’t we begin and end our nookie sessions with prayer?

    *lightning rod is UP*

  75. I cannot adequately state the degree to which I am grossed out right now.

  76. Steve Evans says:

    Agreed. Please keep things decent, people.

  77. RE: Using “might” in a prayer. (#67)

    My understanding is that might is used as the future conditional tense of “can”. Therefore, using it in a prayer expresses the desire that a specific event be able to occur in the future. It is grammatically correct, although I would bet that most people using it do not understand why.

    My 2-year old daughter is learning to pray and has become rather enthusiastic about it. She even reminds me to say prayers with her when I tuck her in at night (although I suspect this may be another one of her stalling tactics to stay up a few minutes longer). Last night I asked Mrs. Obsidian to say our family prayers. She had barely finished saying “Father in Heaven” when little miss Obsidian chimes in with “Father in Heaven” right behind her. So mommy ended up helping little miss Obsidian say the prayer. I know it’s not a unique occurence, but it sure is cute when it’s your own daughter doing it.

  78. Everyone in my family (except me, now that I’ve noticed it) says, about food prayers, “bless this food that it will nourishenenstrengthen us”. It’s all run together like that after years of saying the same phrase over and over. I noticed it a while back, and now if makes me giggle because WHAT ARE THEY SAYING? “NourishEN and strengthen us”? Or “Nourish and ENstrengthen us?” Those aren’t even WORDS!

  79. rick jepson says:

    Mark (63), you got that backward. “Thou” and “Thee” are informal pronouns, suggesting intimacy; “you” is a formal pronoun, suggesting a lack of familiarity.

    However, those are very old usages….today they have practically switched places in everyday English (even several GA’s have encouraged the use of “thou” because it insinuates respect).

    IMO, we need to stop using “thou” and stick with “you.”

    I’m actually speaking on this today at Sunstone….in four hours and I’m not ready at all.

    This thread was helpful, and fun.

  80. Sherri Park says:

    I heard of a prayer given at the Utah State Prison where the person asked for “everyone to be taken home in safety” and that “all those who aren’t here with us this time will be here next time”. As for referring to sex in prayers–if it’s a big part of your marriage and happiness, I don’t see anything wrong with mentioning your gratitude in prayer with your spouse. Probably the dinner table would be the wrong setting. Approaching the age of 60, I know that it takes good health to continue to have any sex life. The level of gratitude for all bodily functions (walking, hearing, etc.) goes way up in older people. I read a Jewish prayer in regard to bodily functions that is both touching and humorous. I used to love hearing my children’s prayers when they were little because they were so fresh and unaffected. I also love the prayers of non-members and new members for the same reason.

  81. My 12 yo son is always very original in his prayers. My husband asked him to say a prayer before our home teachers left the last time they were over. He prayed that they’d have a good evening, a safe trip home or wherever they were going, and a successful life that would make them happy.

    My brother-in-law said something once that has stuck with me about sacrament meeting prayers including a blessing on those who were not able to be there that week. He said what we all should be praying for in addition to that is that we’d be able to help with whatever might be preventing them from being there.

  82. My four year old is very inquisitive. I had to explain to him why I, a type I diabetic, needed to take insulin at dinner etc… the next day at dinner he prayed “and bless that i will be diatetic like daddy and get to use his insulin”

  83. #32 I haven’t laughed that loud in a long time “bless the needies”…perfect

  84. Idahospud says:

    My friend told me how when he was on his mission (London, 1985) that the elders (no sisters participated as far as he knew) around whoever was asked to give the prayer would give the pray-er a word that he was to somehow include while he prayed. My friend was given “cow” once, and ended up saying something like, “Bless our COWntenences to reflect Thy work.” Irreverant, yes, but I crack up every time I think of it.

  85. I cringed somewhat on hearing Conan’s pre-battle prayer to Crom: “No one will remember today except that two stood against many. I ask you, Father Crom, grant me victory, grant me revenge. And if you will not grant them to me, then the hell with you!” No respect, that Conan.

    On a related note, once while conducting Priesthood opening exercises, I praised the victorious Young Men’s basketball team for “crushing our enemies, driving them before you, and causing to be heard the lamentation of their women.” That was a big hit.

  86. Jothegrill says:

    Tonight my 2 year old was grateful for her boogers, and she had to express it over and over during family prayer. She also went through a stage where she would point and say she was thankful for that and that and that…. (oh, and the ceiling fan. =)

  87. Well, this doesn’t exactly fall under the prayer category, but it does make me cringe to hear people close their talks with “I say this in the name of thy son, Jesus Christ, Amen. Um. He’s not my son.

  88. David Park says:

    LOL!!!!
    Steve Park has the right idea! Pray before nookie that it will be great and satifying!

    Prayers need to be less mechanical and more heartfelt. I don’t repeat the exact same things to my dad (mortal dad) constantly. If I did it would drive both my parents crazy and eventually make them post up some things on a message borad like this one.
    I have been in sacrament meetings where the closing prayers include “… please bless this congregation that it will be nourishing and strengthening to our bodies.” I have heard this at least three times.
    Yeah, were all freaks!

  89. David Park says:

    I also remember giving the prayer in primary meeting that the neighborhood kids, who were in the congregation, wouldn’t try to beat me up at school or in the neighborhood and steal my stuff anymore. Needless to say they did anyway.
    Most of them are dead now – or sing for Jericho Road.

  90. re # 87: meems, also a pet peeve of mine! I am trying to be less judgemental and remember that people are nervous, but really, what are they thinking?

  91. eagleeyes says:

    My six year old son will make us say another prayer if we forget to say, “..please bless us that we will not have scary dreams…” endearing and adorable.

    My other son (7) always says ” please bless that we will have fun here…” no matter when it is, where we are, who we are with, if it is bed time, meal time, etc… I have explained many a time about repetition, but old habits are hard to break, and hey, fun is fun. Must be important to him!

    Funny: A semi crazy older lady in our ward once prayed for her own hemorroids to quit bothering her…not kidding, I heard it with my own ears. LOL!

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