Jumpstarting Sluggish Prayers – No Frills, No Flair
Key Bible Verse: O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. – Psalm 139:1
Bonus Reading: Psalm 139: 2-18
There was a time in my life when it seemed as if everyone wanted me to pray aloud at group gatherings. So I would pray, in properly respectful yet down-to-earth tones, choosing my words carefully.
I found myself mimicking my public “performances” in my private times with God. It was during one of these times, late at night, that I felt God speaking to my heart: Mike, exactly who are you praying for?
For months I had been so bent on shaping my prayers for audiences that I’d forgotten I was whispering directly into the ear of God.
I learned something that night: When we come to God in prayer, we must come as we are. No amount of flowery words will impress God.
He knows our sinful thoughts and secret desires better than we do. We can’t fool him with impressive praying.
No, if we want to be people who passionately pursue intimacy with God, we must first and foremost have the courage to approach him honestly, completely revealing who we are, what we’ve done, and how we feel each time we call his name.
To do less than that is an insult to God and to the miracle of prayer he’s given us.
—Mike Nappa in The Courage to Be a Christian
My Response: When I pray, am I always aware that I’m “whispering directly into the ear of God”?
Thought to Apply: In prayer, it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart—John Bunyan (British writer & preacher)
Adapted from The Courage to Be a Christian (Howard, 2001)
Prayer for the Week: Dear Heavenly Father, help me to pray more consistently, more fervently, and more selflessly.