I’ve been doing an interesting little experiment lately.
I try changing the prayers from talking about us/we/our to instead talk about I/me/my. It’s just an experiment, to help me see how it feels.
There’s a fascinating result: It feels like I’m taking more ownership and accountability for my relationship with God, Jesus, and Mary.
Here’s a great example:
Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
I try changing that to:
Forgive me my trespasses, as I forgive those who trespass against me.
In the first case, there’s a bit of a feeling that I can hide out in the crowd. As long as somebody is generous in forgiving, I get a free pass because God now forgives all of us.
But you know that’s not how it works. We’re each accountable for our own behaviors.
When I talk specifically about my own personal requests and my own personal behavior, it feels like I have to actually do something about it. Now. That guy who was rude to me in the store – did I forgive him? Not really. When I got to church, I dutifully asked God to forgive my sins when in fact I hadn’t been generous at all.
I have to get to work!