The Number of Words in a Prayer

When I was a ten year old boy the church I went to had services that would end like this. The Preacher Man would look down into the audience just before the last hymn and as he was announcing the hymn would select a person at random to come up and give the closing prayer.

I got real good at ducking my head and never ever making eye contact with this person. Most of what I thought about during the hour long service was the fear of being called on to give the prayer.

It wasn't for fear of public speaking. It was because everyone gave the same long prayer using language I didn't understand. Lots of thou's and thee's and such words. I would try and practice in my head using thou and then some other words and then another thou. Maybe try a thine. Some of these folks could go on quite a long time. In my head my prayer lasted about five seconds. Thou, a couple of words, Thee, amen. That's all I had.

That fear went on for years.

Every Sunday. I think those words thee and such are meant to be respectful but for me they create a seperateness to the one I am speaking to.

Thank you, forgive me and love would probably do it. More like concepts rather than words.

And that's only five words.

People often ask me how long a painting took to make. To me that is back to the ten year old thinking of enough words to make a good prayer.

One hundred words. Three words.

It is the wordless prayer that is most important.