Simple Prayers

Q. Occasionally, some need or situation will arise and I’ll feel a real intense need to stop everything and pray. After a few seconds, that sense will vanish. Once when this happened I kept praying, but it felt forced. At this point, the scripture came to mind, “don’t keep babbling like a pagan, the father is not impressed with your countless words”. So I stopped and went back to reading my Bible. Can you help me with this, or share some insight?

A. In studying the prayers of the apostles I am impressed with their brevity. No long and flowery prose. No quoting of Bible verses to support their requests. No reminders that God promised to respond. No complex formulas. No “If it be your will” or “in your perfect time”. Peter’s prayer in Acts 3:6 is a good example. Confronting a crippled beggar he said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Then he helped the man to his feet.

And in Philippi Paul was being distracted by a demon possessed slave girl who followed him around. Having had enough, he said to the demon, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her.” At that moment the demon left her (Acts 16:18).

It’s clear these men had absolute faith in the Lord’s promise to do whatever they commanded in His name (John 14:13-14). They didn’t even need to ask if He would answer. They spoke in His authority and got immediate response. It confirms what I read somewhere that when we’re walking with the Lord, our decisions are His will.

The Lord is a good listener, and knows our prayers before they’re uttered. With all the prayers He gets, my guess is that He appreciates brevity.

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