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While I struggle to pray as much as I intend to pray for family, I was reminded recently, that God hears any and all of our prayers. I have prayed the briefest of prayers for the company sales staff. "Lord be with ..... " naming each "today as they go about their job." Sometimes I add more, but mostly it is just that.

 

And God hears and answers the prayers I have prayed because He impressed me to pray for them. Sometimes it feels like I should be much more wordy, elaborate and just more everything, but it struck me how very simply I pray for the sales staff and how I keep hearing we continue to hold in a failing market.

 

Then I thought about the Lord's Prayer. So simple. "Give us this day our daily bread" No flagellation, just a sentence recognizing that our provisions are from God. A simple prayer of "thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever" recognizing God's sovereignty. Jesus spoke about not being like the Pharisees with their many words and prayers on the street corner.

 

Obedience to the command to pray before trying to impress anyone (including self) with fine, fancy flowing words.

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Comment by Andrew R. Wheeler on April 27, 2016 at 7:44am

And this is exactly how Jesus taught us to pray!  He instructed us not to multiply words, because that's what the pagans do - thinking that their many words will get them a hearing.  Instead, God hears because he is a gracious and loving God, not because he's impressed with our language.

While this is important in closet prayer, it's crucial in community prayer.  Many of us have had the experience of praying in group settings where one person had gone on and on, waxing eloquent while the rest of us doze off.  There can be no agreement in prayer in a setting like that, because that kind of prayer excludes people rather than including them.  It communicates that I care more about my own words than I do about your contribution to the group's prayer.  It's a form of pride.

Scripture tells us that we don't even know how to pray as we should.  I think that the longer our prayers get, the more likely we fully reveal the truth of that statement!

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