I have always felt like prayer was one of my weaknesses. Being asked to pray out loud has always been a terrible nightmare. It takes me a long time to find the “right” words. I stutter and fumble the whole way through, even when praying in silence. On many occasions, my prayer ends up simply as, “God, you know my heart. Please help me.”
I hear the men and women around me pray these long, beautiful, meaningful prayers. They almost sound like recitations instead of spontaneous thought.
And I want so badly to be able to pray that way.
But why? Are their prayers more likely to be heard than mine? Are they more likely to be answered?
No. Of course not!
Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
Romans 8:26-27 says, “. . .the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit. . .”
See, the Bible doesn’t say anything about it needing to be pretty or a certain length. Sometimes my prayers are rather ugly. Like when I cry out to God with my hurts and anger. Sometimes they are short and sweet. Like when I think him for his daily blessings. And I know he hears each and every one of them.
When I was in middle school, my youth pastor introduced me to the Five Finger Prayer. I think it is typically used to teach young children how to pray. And every night before bed, I still use this method.
- Praise God
- Confess your sins
- Thank God
- Pray for others
- Pray for yourself
As adults, I think we often try to make things way too complicated. But the Bible puts it simply:
“The Lord is near to all who call upon him. . .” – Psalm 145:18
With hope and love,