Keep Your Prayers Simple
By Rick Warren
“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words . . . for your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Matthew 6:7-8 (NIV)
Longer is not stronger when it comes to prayer.
God is much more interested in humble and authentic prayers than a long-winded sermon in prayer. Just get to the point!
Jesus had a lot to say in the Sermon on the Mount about praying simply, without trying to sound super spiritual:
"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words . . . for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8 NIV).
You don’t have to convince God of what you need. He already knows! Just come to him as simply, honestly, and humbly as you can, and talk about what you need.
Don't use prayer to show off. I’m sure you’ve seen people do that. But that doesn’t mean they get any credit for that kind of prayer. God doesn't want to hear that kind of prayer.
Instead, be sincere. Don't spout off clichés. Don’t add in fillers because you’re afraid your prayers are too short.
Talk to God like you would to a loved one or a good friend. Say, "God, nice day. Thanks for making this one. Talk to you in another three seconds." Prayer is an ongoing conversation. You can just pick up where you left off in another minute and keep the conversation open.
Adding words to your prayer doesn't make it any stronger. Keep it simple, with a sincere heart and sure faith.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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