God have mercy on me, a sinner. (Luke 18:13NIV)
I am a word junky. I am a woman. I love to talk. I love to write. Sometimes I have word gusts of tornado like proportions. Sometimes I think I wear God’s (and Todd’s) ears out with my ramblings and meanderings. I want to make sure he understands what I’m asking. I want to dot every “i” and cross every “t” so there are no mistakes. Anybody else?
But what if I don’t know exactly? What if I haven’t a clue the details of what I really need? Or want? Or desire? There are times when elaborate just isn’t in my vocabulary.
Simple prayer is still powerful prayer.
I lay awake with anticipation of a meeting taking place the next morning. I had many things to share but also wanted to be concise, professional and heard. And so I prayed this every time I woke up, Lord, don’t let me word vomit at tomorrow’s meeting.
I have a friend who recently moved away. She is in the process of getting her family settled in to a new home and new schools as well as trying to make connections herself. She texted a couple of us to be praying about a get together of some ladies from a church she has been attending. She shared her fears and anticipations. Our big bold prayer for her was this: Dear God, please don’t let it be awful.
This is a note I ran across (and kept) from many years ago. It’s from my youngest daughter who was 7 ish and is now 19 and in college.
He has been answering this prayer ever since.
In Luke 18 we see two different styles:
The Pharisee with his Glamour Shot style of look-at-me-and-my-fancy-prayer-life.
The tax collector who simply asks for mercy because he is sinner.
Jesus’ response? Old fancy pants got scolded for being too full of himself. While the tax collector’s humility was recognized.
Simple, humble prayers can sometimes be the most effective ones. Jesus doesn’t ask us to be fancy. Just honest.
Simple, humble prayers leave my needs in the hands of a Father who knows way better than I what the answer should look like.
Simple, humble prayers can be bold and brave, brazen and beautiful.
Can we be specific? Absolutely! But sometimes my laundry list of laments limit my ability to see God working when his answer didn’t fit in the labyrinth of detail I laid out for him.
There is somehow a sweet relief to not have to worry about the how’s and trust God to work it out for our good. Because we can trust him. He hears us. He loves us. He wants the best for us.
In the words of the Psalmist we can bring our simple requests before him each morning. We can pray to not word vomit or not let it be awful or help me or have mercy and then wait expectantly for him to answer
Because he will.
Simple. Powerful. Prayer.
Fiercely for you!