Do you ever feel like you have to pray just right, or it won’t work? Have you felt like your prayer wasn’t answered because you didn’t have enough faith or pray long enough? I’ve felt that way too. Maybe that’s because we make prayer too hard. So often, we make it all about us finding the perfect words and approach. We think we have to pray just right for God to hear and respond.
Yet Jesus reassured his disciples with these words: “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).
God’s hearing our prayers doesn’t depend on our praying long enough or hitting upon the right phrases. Prayer is an invitation to come before our Heavenly Father who knows our needs and longs to hear our voices. God hears and responds to us because He is faithful and has compassion on His children.
My prayer life grows deeper when I take a few focused minutes to pray each morning like Jesus did (Mark 1:35). This gets me in the right frame of mind to keep praying later in the day. I’m learning that prayer can be simple and natural as breathing.
Prayer isn’t a ritual that depends on closing our eyes and putting on holy faces. We don’t have to kneel or sit. We can pray while walking, driving, or working. God responds to a two word cry for help in the middle of a busy afternoon, just like He does to a focused prayer time after reading Scripture in the morning. Praying doesn’t have to be complicated. God delights in any simple words we offer Him.