Actually, I'll start with the other annoyances, 'cause they're easier to write about:
So, I like House. It amuses me, keeps me entertained, and whiles away hours if I need them to be whiled away. Because I don't have access to Sky, I watch House on DVD, when the series ends. I enjoy doing this because I can watch them in my own time, have access to the extras, etc.. I was recently watching series 4 on DVD, and as I went through the various discs, I watched the extras on said disc. Now, series 4 was the one affected by the writers strike, so there were only 16 episodes, across 4 discs. It would make sense then, to have any extras that contained spoilers on the last disc. But no, it's on the third disc, and still four episodes away from the completion of the series - and I now know it all ends. Well done, FOX. I blame FOX because a) they're right-wing nutters, b) they put out House, so they have some part to play, and c) they cancelled Firefly. Enough said.
With regards to prayer: I really don't like prayer any more.
Now, before I get lynched, necklaced or excommunicated, I probably should point out that by 'prayer' I mean 'prayer in groups', or 'praying out loud'. I find it increasingly difficult to avoid switching into holy mode. This is a really extreme example of this: (Thanks to Jesus Needs New PR)
[A minor aside - this woman is crazy. I agree with the essence, I disgree with... well, everything else. A coven of vampires... really?]
Back to prayer: We so easily slip into this holy mode, or start playing language games. For instance, we often at the start of prayers say something along the lines of: 'Dear Father, we pray for Ethel, who has broken her leg.' This feels a bit like we're announcing to everyone else we are currently with who we are praying for, 'cause God sure doesn't need to be told. We then say something like 'We ask that you bring her peace at this time.' Who talks like that?! We're told that prayer is conversation, that it's when we talk to God. But I wouldn't be caught dead talking to a friend like that, why God? I suppose it's because God is thoroughly other, but... really?!
Worst of all, I'm always subconciously on the listen for the 'PHOA' or 'Prayerful Hum Of Approval'. I feel less and less like my prayers, especially when in a group, are talking to God, and more and more like I'm saying the right things on our to-do list.
I suppose what I'm saying is that I feel my prayers aren't genuine any longer. I'm sure God hears them, and translates them from Christianese, but I wish I could break out of these cliches.
So, thoughts? Opinions? Should I be burned at the stake? Etc.