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. Matthew 6:7-8
Last Sunday, we heard about Nehemiah’s prayer, for God to make clear a way to travel to Jerusalem. His vision was to rebuild the city wall and restore the glory of God’s name among the nations.
Sometimes those spectacular prayers in scripture can make us feel inadequate to pray our own prayers. But Jesus’ words in Matthew 6 remind us of two related truths about prayer:
1. We don’t need to use a lot of words; and
2. God knows us well, so we don’t need to dictate a memo of every specific.
If you’re not used to praying on your own, you might begin by finding a quiet place to be
alone with God. Then start with something simple, such as:
Dear Lord, I don’t know exactly what to say, but I’ve got some things on my heart that
feel too heavy for me to carry alone.
Then share your request or confession or gratitude or praise. For example:
I want to pray for my St. Andrew church family, that you would encourage us in this
time of transition. Please guide our Session with a vision as clear as Nehemiah’s and
actions that require us all to lean hard on you. Help us to trust you even more in these
post-COVID times of division and uncertainty in the world.
Then pause to listen in silence for a few minutes. You can say more or stop there. Simply
setting aside these moments of conversation with God can be an act of faith and worship.
And as we’ll see, our prayers do make a difference.
I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday!
"Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble.
But since the power of prayer is in the One who hears it
and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference".