How to Pray (part 2/3)

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Matthew 6:7-8

It doesn’t take a lot of words to get God’s attention in prayer.

For ourselves – for our own mental, emotional, and spiritual health benefit – we might need to express a lot of different words to God, in order to have peace and to untangle all of our thoughts and emotions. We may even need to jump up and down a bit, shout out a mighty a warrior’s battle cry, or have a good, ugly sob session.

But, in order to get God’s attention, all it really takes is faith – and just a mustard-seed-size amount of it. We could groan, and have a tiny, mustard-seed-size amount of faith, and God would hear and understand.

And, we don’t have to have some highfalutin vocabulary or a proper religious language in order to pray. Having precise and meaningful language will probably help us with our own satisfaction in having clearly expressed ourselves, but again, God doesn’t really need it, because he can distinguish groans and… um… every language on the earth.

Of course, we ought to pray within God’s reasoning. As in, God is not going to appreciate it at all if we ask for our enemies, or people who get on our nerves, or other “toxic” types, to have a car accident and die. But, it is okay to express our emotions and thoughts, negative and/or positive, about people and circumstances. God is big enough to handle all of our thoughts and feelings, and, getting them out helps us – helps our mental health. And even, God can break into our thoughts and emotions in one way or another and correct us or give us solutions.

We don’t need a whole lot of words when we pray. “God, heal me” is quite enough. Or, “God, I believe, but help my unbelief” is also enough. When we’ve prayed, and have done so with that mustard-seed-size measure of faith, we can leave whatever we’ve prayed about alone, and wait on God, and carry on with whatever we need to carry on with.

Prayer

God, thank you for your directions on how to pray. Help me to understand. Give me faith. And help me to pray just as you said to. Amen.

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