Matthew 6:7 (NRSV)
And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their many words.
Keeping it simple is a good rule for prayer. Sometimes when I’ve listened to myself praying, I hear myself telling God all the details of a situation he already knows. What if I start with that fact, that he already knows, and just let him meet me? One of my favorite authors (Ann Lamott) says her two most consistent prayers are “Help, help, help!” and “Thank you, thank you, thank you!” It may sound simplistic, but these two simple things are foundational to our spiritual life: our dependence on God and our gratitude. These two things help center us in his love more than hours spent in lengthy and wordy prayers.
Today’s Prayer Practice: Conversational Prayer
Where do you most need help today? Where do you see God’s love for you? What if you ask him what you should pray for? What if for today, you tried to use as few words as possible in your prayer time? Try to take that attitude into your day, turning to God occasionally and just lift your thoughts to him. Even thinking of him can be a prayer. Share your life with him as you go throughout your day. He is with us always. Ask him to help you be mindful of his presence.