Simple Living: Praying Simple Prayers

“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.”
–Martin Luther

I like to talk. In fact, I often talk way too much. And once in a while, I ramble. And nobody really likes a rambler. Even me. But it’s funny how I seem to always have a knack for rambling whenever I talk to God. I always feel the need to say as much as I can whenever I approach God in prayer. And that’s because I subconsciously believe that God will listen to my prayer and answer it more if I pray long enough or if I use plenty of fancy words. But of course, that’s complete nonsense. A short but honest prayer can be just as meaningful as a long one.

In fact, Jesus talked a little bit about this in His sermon on the mount. He said, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8, NIV).

God hearing our prayers has nothing to do with the prayer’s length or the fanciness of the language used. God hears our prayers because He is our good Father and we are His children. In fact, He loves to hear His children cry out to Him in prayer. And as the verse mentions, God already knows what we need even before we even ask Him for it. What a great assurance to know that God understands exactly what we require in life. Of course, God still wants us to articulate our needs in prayer. But we shouldn’t babble on as if that gives us a better chance of being heard by God.

Lately, I’ve been finding ways to simplify (not minimize) my prayer life so that it becomes a more active part of my life. And part of that journey has been learning to pray much shorter but more honest prayers. In the next post, I’ll share a few suggestions that might help you simplify your prayer life and make it a more active part of who you are.