BBC Radio Merseyside Thought for the Day 22 February 2005
Some people think that when you pray, you have to speak posh. Because you are talking to God after all. But we don't have to speak well, in posh language, using fancy words. Being ourselves is what matters. It's a conversation, not an exam.
And we don't have to be clever either. We don't have to have a theology degree to speak to God any more than we have to have a medical degree to speak to a doctor. When it comes to the mysteries of life and death no-one is really qualified to know what to say. Though when it comes to the fine details, the private things in your life - then you are fully qualified.
If you are natural and honest in your prayers, that's what matters. When we talk to God there's no need to put on airs and graces.
One of my favourite pray-ers is an Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig. His prayers are the most natural and honest ones I know, about everyday things like pets and rain and music. Here's one of my favourites - about Hair.
We give thanks for the mystery of hair:
Too little here and too much there,
Censored and shaved, controlled and suppressed,
Unwelcome guest in soups and sandwiches,
Difficult growth always needing attention,
Gentle and comforting, complex and wild,
Reminding us softly that we might be animals,
Growing and growing 'til the day that we die
And the day after as well, so they say.
In all of its places, in all of its ways,
We give thanks for the blessing of hair.