Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayer, Surprisingly Simple

Prayer is something that perplexes me. Don't get me wrong, I strongly believe in prayer. And I pray. But I always feel as if I am somehow missing the mark with prayer.

I feel tempted to believe that it should be so much more than I make it, that I should use more words, more in-depth praying for those for whom I pray. In reality, I have the sneaking suspicion that our prayers should actually be much simpler.

Prayer is the languageImage by Lel4nd via Flickr
I was thinking today of a young Christian. Not young as in newly born again, but young as in age. Prayer needs to be something that even the very young can grasp and do. It needs to be something that even the simple minded can master. Prayer needs to be accessible for those who have a waning memory.

So often these days I find myself telling the Lord, "I don't have a clue what You need to do in this person's life. Even if I thought I knew, I'd probably be wrong. So just work where You know there is need and work out Your purpose in their lives."

That seems too easy, to short, too simple. It must be more difficult, more involved. But that prayer can be prayed for anyone.

As I was coming home from work today, I looked across the lanes of traffic and thought of all the people in their cars. So many people, all of whom need the Lord's working in some way in their lives, so many people and I knew none of them. That doesn't mean we can't pray for them, the Lord knows each and every one of them. Just in the time it takes to pass them on the street, we can ask the Lord to work in their lives.

The Apostle Paul instructed us to "pray without ceasing". The simple, easy prayers can flow from our heart anywhere, anytime. A prayer can be rising from our hearts instantly for all we see around us.

"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." Romans 8:26

Perhaps the intercession of the Holy Spirit for us in prayer is taking our effort at making prayer a complex and convoluted thing and turning it into a simple and beautiful sacrifice unto the Lord.

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