This is my 6th blog in a series called “Jesus Said”. The purpose of this series it to take a closer look at the word of God and discover the message God has for us so we don’t drift away from the life He desires for us. Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. Hebrews 2:1 Today we are looking at what Jesus said about verbosity.
Verbosity: the quality of using more words than needed; wordiness
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
This blog was written about three weeks ago as I sat on a beautiful Sunday morning in my favorite front porch rocker with tears streaming down my face. Tears for a friend that died just a few hours before I sat down to write. As I looked through the topics in this series I wanted to write about, “verbosity” stuck out.
Words! Words! Words! They can be so destructive and empty or they can be powerful and heartfelt. They can also feel as if they could never be enough. I remember all the times I prayed with this particular friend while she sat in the hospital waiting for new lungs to arrive. It’s funny, it was only about 10 years ago that I wouldn’t even pray out loud – now I will stop in the middle of the Starbucks line and pray with someone. I wish I had known before what I know now. Prayers don’t have to be long, perfect, beautiful, edited poems we recite. It isn’t a competition. My prayers, your prayers and their prayers, if from the heart, all matter. All count and all are heard!
As Jesus says in the verses from Matthew, He already knows our hearts so there is no need to go into a long detailed account of it all. So why pray at all? God wants to hear from us. Prayer, like sitting down with a friend to chat, builds our relationship with Him. He listens. He knows. He understands, but wants to hear it from you. Consider this, we may hear about something that happened to a friend, but when we see that friend we always want them to share their story, their feelings and their experience. We want to listen because we care and we realize it helps when we actively listen and let others share their hearts. When we pray, that’s what God is doing for us. So, leave out the flashy, fake and planned. He just wants you to come as you are and share what’s on your heart – plain and simple.
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this: Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes. Matthew 6:7-13 MSG
A prayer request as I close:
I know we all have a thousand and one people to pray for these days, but if you would add one more to your list and pray for my friend’s family. She is celebrating in Heaven with her mom, but there is a sweet little boy who has lost his mom, an adoring husband who will miss her painfully and a father and step-mom who must endure the loss of a child. They are left with hearts full of sadness, loss and grief. Please pray God will provide them every provision during this time of loss and I will pray for those of you who are also grieving the loss of a friend, loved one or relationship. God hears our prayers – every one – and is close to the broken-hearted.
Keep it simple. God hears you!