Words can really enliven us, and they can also put us to sleep. Consider this thought-provoking anecdote:
In high school I determined never to pray with the language, terms and clichés I heard in public prayers. I learned to rephrase common needs, concerns, and ideas. –Bailey McBride, Christian Chronicle, November 2010
Years ago, I regularly heard in assemblies the public prayer-words of a guy I believed was sincere. And I almost made him an enemy by suggesting to him that he consider an alternative to his habitual introductory phrase: “hallowed be Thy great and holy name.” Those words, of course, were well-intended and reverent, “placing” God in one of His rightful places. Yet they turned me off.
I still believe we need to avoid clichés. And the clichés we set up for ourselves are just as dangerous to our spirituality as the ones that the broader world experiences.