For the record, I truly hate Siri. Before you dash off a hateful letter to me reminding me not to hate people, please try your best to understand that Siri is not actually a person. She — it, rather — is a phone app, nothing more and nothing less; a manmade algorithm with no feelings to be hurt by my loathing.

Despite my Southern birth and raising, I actually speak very plainly, so my “accent” is not the issue. No, Siri, non-person that she is, has a grudge against me and is determined to make my blood pressure skyrocket to dangerously unhealthy levels.

I had resisted even activating Siri on my phone for quite some time. But then Dana, my lovely and persuasive wife of 25 years, convinced me how useful it could be. “Just imagine,” she opined, “driving down the road and simply speaking a text to her, and her sending it to me, without you ever having to touch your phone.”

And so I allowed her to get Siri up and running for me.

Things came to a near-fatal (For Siri. And for my phone.) head earlier today as I write this, while I was on the way to get a part with which to repair the church’s broken scissor lift.

Me: “Hey Siri, send a text to Dana, mobile.”

Siri: “What do you want to say?”

Me: “I am going to Boiling Springs to get a part for the lift.”

Siri: “I am going to Boiling Springs to get a part for the left.”

At this point, rather than try again, I sent the text, deciding to correct the small error with a one word follow-up text.

Me: “Hey Siri, send a text to Dana, mobile.”

Siri: “What do you want to say?”

Me: “Lift.”

Siri: “Lyft.”

Me, going through the whole process and trying again: “Lift.”

Siri: Blah FT.

Me: “Blah FT? What is Blah FT? L I F T.”

Siri: R F M T.

Me: AAAAA{span class=”print trim”}AGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH!

Siri: “Let me know when you are ready to send it.”

I hate Siri. This goes beyond a simple failure to communicate; this is clearly some nefarious plot designed to give me a stroke. I tried to explain all of this to Dana, and she just laughed at me. Hysterically. Now I think she may secretly be in on the plot.

By contrast, Romans 8:26, speaking of prayer, says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

With Siri, I speak plainly and yet am misunderstood. With prayer, I cannot even begin to be as plain as I should, as focused as I need, as erudite as I would like. I bring the Lord my hurts, and sometimes the tears choke up the words. I pray about situations, not realizing that I do not really even understand the situations.

And yet through all of it the sweet Holy Spirit hears those prayers, turns to the Father and says, “Here is what he said; but let me fix it up just right and present it to you.” This means that the only “bad prayer” for a child of God is the one he or she does not pray. All of the rest of them may leave our lips or our hearts as a disjointed mess, but by the time the Spirit speaks them to the Father, they are eloquent and perfect.

So Blah FT your prayer to the Lord today. He will understand it perfectly.

Bo Wagner is pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Mooresboro, N.C. He is a widely traveled evangelist and the author of several books. He can be reached by email at 2knowhim@cbc-web.org.

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