Rabbi Marc Gellman, quoted in a N Y Times Magazine article Click said, "But really, when you come right down to it, there are only four basic prayers. Gimme! Thanks! Oops! and Wow!... Wow! are prayers of praise and wonder at the creation. Oops! is asking for forgiveness. Gimme! is a request or a petition. Thanks! is expressing gratitude. That's the entire Judeo-Christian doxology. That's what we teach our kids in religious school."
I notice that Gimme! and Oops! predominate in the prayers of those who surround me as well as myself. In both cases, I want something.
Thanks! and Wow! prayers are scarce. Those are ones that require me to see beyond myself to Another.
Catch yourself today. Assuming you pray, what predominates in your dialogue with Christ? A "To do" list for him? A "Pick up the check, please" request? Is there room for a heart-felt "Thank you" for the goodness of or life (even if it is not going perfectly?) Can you picture yourself just mooning over Christ as you did when you had your first love when you were younger?
May I Thank! and Wow! with the regularity and enthusiasm of my Gimme! and Oops!
"This, then, is how you should pray:
" 'Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.' Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)