When praying, it can be easy to focus primarily on explaining what you’ve done for God or what you want him to do for you. But when a language surveyor named Timothy* was in Thailand he learned that, when praying, another area of focus is more important.
“People told us: ‘The most important part of prayer is … what you call yourself and what you call God,’” Timothy said. “[This shows] your view of the Lord, understanding who you are and who God is.”
For example, most Thai believers usually call themselves “servants devoted only to the Most High God.” This phrase shows their dependence on God, their affection for him and their loyalty to him — all while acknowledging the way he has called people to live for him.
Translators carry this principle over into Bible translation in Thai. For example, the way the woman at the well describes Jesus changes as time goes on. As she learns more about who Jesus really is and grows closer to him, her way of addressing Jesus gains more reverence, depth and affection.
Which words do you use to reference yourself when you pray? Which do you use for God? Your choices may not necessarily reflect how you feel about God or yourself but, then again, maybe they do.
Like Thai believers, perhaps it’s time to consider what your words are saying about your heart in prayer.