Prayer isn’t a performance, but we treat it that way.
A lot of us get intimidated to pray out loud. We treat the other people in the room like they are secretly criticizing our prayers with their eyes closed – judging how articulate or holy we sound. But our prayers aren’t for them. They are for God.
At its very core, prayer is the most organic form of communication.
Even more than talking to your closest friend. You can talk to God at any time because he’s always listening. And unlike talking with another person, you don’t need to keep God’s attention or worry that you said the wrong thing to him. You don’t have to be insecure that God might taken what you said the wrong way. God doesn’t need your prayer to be good. He just wants it to be real.
Like a parent who wants their college kid would call more often, God just wants to hear from you. He wants you to share what’s going on throughout your day. Where you are stressed and frustrated. Why you’re worried. What you’re dreaming about.
It doesn’t have to be formal. Most of my prayers are less than 20 seconds long, scattered throughout my day. Sort of like how I text my wife when I have a question or thought while I’m in the office. It’s not always a long conversation. Just a snippet.
Those are my favorite kinds of prayers. A 10-second prayer for a friend before I get lunch with them. A 30-second prayer in my car when I’m stressed and need his help. A 15-second pause when I get angry to ask God to give me some peace on the moment. Or just a minute of turning down the volume and being silent before God. Moments of stillness can go a long way for our attitudes.
God just wants to hear from you.
He doesn’t care how beautiful you sound.
He just wants your words. He’s already on the line! You just have to start talking.
Hey! I’m Stephen, the pastor of Grace Church in West Bridgewater, MA where I live with my wife, Katy, and my two daughters, Hazel & Holly! I love to read, write, travel, and meet new people. Connect with me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.