I once rehearsed a play in which I served as the “voice of God” replying to a delightful little girl saying her bedtime prayers. I frustrated the director. “No, say that line more majestically.” “No, say it more warmly.”
I never got it right. I should have retorted, “What do you want me to be: both God and man?”
It’s rare to find someone who can do that successfully.
Conservative preachers oppose going beyond what the Bible says. But everybody does. Even someone who simply reads the Bible aloud is interpreting the Bible, with his inflection, his volume, his speed, his tone. (People who read the Bible silently are also interpreting the Bible – we just can’t tell how they’re interpreting it). Reading the Bible in ponderous tones means you think that God is ponderous. Reading in casual tones means you think God is casual. Your inner theology determines your reading style, unless you have trouble reading out loud or trouble being honest about your theology. Pick a difficult passage of Scripture, such as one about the wrath of God. Try reading it aloud while incorporating all that you believe about it. I think it will bring you to your knees as you realize the limits of your faith.
“Some prayers are like a fire escape, used only in times of critical emergency — never very enjoyable, but used as a way of terrified escape from disaster. They do not represent the regular life of the one who offers them; rather are the unusual and uncommon acts of the spiritual amateur.”