Monday, January 9, 2017

Simple prayer

When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him! Matthew 6:7-8

I believe the Lord teaches us profound truths about life and faith through our children, especially when they are young. If you are a parent or have spent any time around children, you know this to be true. At times, without even knowing it, in a single sentence they can speak a deeper truth about God than an entire sermon or book on the same topic.

In my own life, my children have taught me a great deal about how to approach God in prayer. Prayer for them is never a display of the sincerity of their piety or the depths of their Biblical knowledge. Prayer is instead the simple request from the heart of a child, offered to a heavenly Father that they believe and know hears them, loves them, and desires a relationship with them. They also remind me of the profound truth of Jesus’s words in Matthew 6: God knows the needs and desires of our hearts before we ever speak a single word.

The Lord knows us and loves us more than we even know and love ourselves. The concerns, burdens, bruises, and hurts that we carry with us are already known by a God who deeply desires to wash our wounds and heal us from the inside out. Your connection to God in prayer is never based upon the eloquence or length of your prayers but upon the fact that God is a loving Father who has called you His son or His daughter.

Prayer is never a transactional agreement but is always an exchange of love where we encounter the goodness and faithfulness of God and we in turn respond with a renewed, childlike faith.

When you pray, remember that you are first and foremost entering into a relationship in which you are loved and learn to love in return. This will forever free you from the pressure to impress the Lord with persuasive, articulate, or extensive prayers. Come instead with a simple faith that always remembers that the Lord knows your needs before you even ask.

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