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thoughts on prayer

January 20, 2010

You are God in Heaven
And here am I on Earth
So I’ll let my words be few
Jesus, I am so in love with you

i’m guessing almost everybody reading this post is familiar with these lyrics from Matt Redman’s Let My Words Be Few. i’m also guessing, though, that most of these same people don’t realize that these words were taken directly from the book of Ecclesiastes (chapter 5, verse 2, for those of you checking up on me). i’m guessing that because an estimated 80 percent of prayers i hear seem to be composed of a minimum 600 words (again, another estimation). i really don’t think many people understand that their prayers are not measured by their length or even “poetic-ness,” but rather the heart with which they are spoken. i’ve even heard speakers talk about prayers not being about their wordiness and following that up with a five- minute prayer (i’m not exactly attacking hypocrisy here, but rather the fact that we easily skip over certain things). this idea is also found in the New Testament where Jesus explains that we are not to “babble on, as the pagans do” (sorry, checker- uppers, don’t remember the reference, but it’s in there). Jesus is referring to the fact that many pharisees and such would make long, wordy prayers believing that their prayers were heard more because of their length. God hears us no matter what, so let our words be few.

added thought:
i think most people have heard of what i call “God- grabbers,” the people that, while praying, say “God,” “Father God,” or some other name of God about fifty times in as many seconds (it kinda seems like they’re constantly trying to keep God’s attention, that’s where my clever nickname comes from; take a few seconds to bask in my glory). i’ve heard several opinions on this group of special individuals; some think it’s funny, some think it’s stupid, others think it’s straight up annoying. let me give my two cents on the matter, though. the act of repeating His Name in such an erratic, rapid manner (God- names per second vary from grabber to grabber) seems to be something of a nervous action; an indicator of the speaker’s anxiety, if you like (please note, i don’t think this is true across the board, but probably true for many). i’m not one to say whether this anxiety is good or not and here’s why: it all depends on where that anxiety comes from. if the grabber is anxious because he or she is afraid of what others in the room may think of them, then yeah, that’s stupid (take offense right now if you are one of these people but realize i operate out of love). however, if that anxiety comes from a genuine and righteous fear of God, that is good. i think, if anything, most people can use a little more of that fear that may cause people to fumble their words simply because they know they are speaking to the Ultimate Holy One.

that is all. let my words be few.


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