Making Prayer Simple

It was a typical morning drive to school. My son Jon and I were singing loudly like professionals but with the windows up. In mid-song Jon said, “Mom, look, I see the lights!” Sure enough, about half a mile ahead emergency lights were swirling.

Since 2010 when I was in a near-fatal car accident, my sensitivity to swirling emergency lights hit a significant growth spurt. As a result, Jon and I have developed a habit of praying when we see first responders in action. For a while, Jon would want me to pray first, and then he’d follow. It took some time for him to understand that although God is invisible, He is always present and always listening. And on bad days, I have to be reminded of that truth myself. Scripture doesn’t limit God’s attention to our age, ability, stability, or maturity. He simply loves our company.

Jon began to pray . . .

The Lord is with me and also with you. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. Mom, your turn.

I felt like I was praying after Billy Graham.

In all Jon’s complexity, he prays with simplicity, sincerity, humility, and child-like faith. I followed with, “Lord, your son Jon has spoken our hearts’ desire. Will you help and heal those who are hurt? In Jesus’s name, Amen.”

Faith like a Child

The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9–13) appears in the middle of The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). Christ began the sermon with the Beatitudes, teaching that happiness does not come from external abundance but from a child-like faith in God, which results in an eternal perspective, strength of character, humility, and purity. In the middle of Christ’s sermon, He taught His disciples how to pray.

For whatever reason, prayer intimidates us. How often do we judge someone’s spiritual maturity by how he or she prays? As if God listens to big words, long sentences, and booming voices more than He listens to whispers or the silent cries of the heart. Christ’s teaching shows that tone and vocabulary are meaningless. It’s child-like faith that matters.

A Good Place to Start

Prayer is simple, but human beings tend to make it complicated. Want to know the truth? You don’t have to do anything to get God’s attention. He’s with you all the time if you have put your faith in Christ.

Maybe it’s time to call out to Him . . . nothing fancy.

  • “Help” is a good place to start.
  • Our motivation is what matters anyway—an attitude of humility, a willingness to change, and purity of heart comprise the vocabulary of prayer.
  • God even hears our silence, which demonstrates our faith that God is with us wherever we are.

Let Me Hear from You

Jon and I never know what happens to those we pray for as we travel the roads of life. But we do know God is with us, with them, and with you.

I would love to connect with you about prayer. The Lord’s Prayer contains themes such as God’s holiness, worship, justice, forgiveness, deliverance, thankfulness, and provision. Pick a topic and let’s begin talking with our Father.

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