I had one of those funny skim reading slips the other day. A friend had posted a prayer on facebook (where I often tend to be in skim read mode) and it began with the words "Almighty God." But my hurrying glance took the phrase in too quickly and I read it as "Alrighty God..." which sounded like the beginning of a much more casual conversation.
The slip made me chuckle, but it's also caused me to reflect on the fact that many of my prayers, depending on their time and place, could probably be characterized either as "almighty" or "alrighty" prayers.
The prayers I read from others, particularly in the prayer book, help me to center in on the powerful reality of who God is. Those prayers carefully name the Triune God, reminding me of who he is -- awesome in power and majesty, full of strength and loving kindness. He is indeed Almighty God, and I need to remember that and to address him, head and heart bowed, as such....and often. Whether I am reading a prayer, joining my voice to other faithful pray-ers now and across the years, or letting my personal prayers and petitions be shaped by that kind of language, I need a lot of time steeped in "almighty" kinds of prayers.
But there is perhaps a time and a place for "alrighty" prayers too...the kinds of prayer I often find myself uttering in the midst of a busy and stressed day, or in the midst of a daily repeated chore that feels like sheer drudgery -- the kind of prayer that begins in a more casual way, as befits one friend just speaking from her heart to a friend who knows and loves her and wants to listen, even if all she has to say is something akin to "Alrighty God, I know I need to get through this next few minutes...please help me!"
Of course the beauty of it all is that it's because the Friend we address is the Almighty King of the universe (able to do all that needed to be done to bridge the chasm and bring us from the far off kingdom of darkness to the near to his heart kingdom of light) we can enter into real and intimately loving conversation with him -- conversation sometimes as casual and simple as any ordinary conversation can be. It is because he is mighty to save that we are rescued, and because we rescued that we are given access -- real and amazing access -- to his presence. Where often we bow, face down to the ground, in humble worship, but where we also sometimes find ourselves drawn to sit right next to the king on his throne, snuggled under his arm, just because we love to have him hold us -- and because he delights to do so.