Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simple, Everyday Prayer

Last night, the students at Young Life Camp were invited to accept Jesus as their Savior, and then they were given about 20 minutes of alone time to talk to God.  During that time, a bunch of us, including the camp volunteers and leaders, gathered in a room to pray for every camper by name - we're talking like 200+ names, folks.  ...that's a lot of names to cram into a short 20 minutes.

In the 20-30 minutes we spent praying together, I only had the time and space to pray "Jesus, save so-and-so," then quickly move on to the next camper, "Jesus, save so-and-so!"  On and on the names went... 

There was a part of me that felt guilty for such a simple prayer.  A four word prayer?  Heck, two of those words were kids' first and last names.  To make matters a little worse, I felt badly about not having much emotion in my sleepy state to put behind my prayers.  My "Jesus, save so-and-so" prayers felt empty and a little bland.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like the 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. -from Matthew 6
Oh my goodness!  I am crazy thankful that His work doesn't depend on me having articulate, passion-filled, and elaborate prayers.

Don't have energy to pray something impressive?  Maybe you don't even feel like you know how to pray for something.  Big deal.  Pray anyway.  Heck, if it means repeating, "Jesus, save her!" or "Jesus, help me!" over and over and over again, know that He hears and delights in answering.

Let's be honest...  Which is worse: Waiting around for days for an articulate, passion-filled moment to motivate you towards prayer?  Or, just moving forward in your everyday, mundane sorts of moments and breathing simple prayers, believing God hears and responds in our weakness?

I think I'll choose door number two.

A good dad loves it when his little toddler tugs on his jeans and says, "Daddy, help me!"  A good dad finds a lot of joy in watching his children bumble around with simple steps in learning to walk.  So, the Lord delights in our small words and tiny steps of obedience.

Jesus, save so-and-so...and her...and him...and, well...all two hundred of them, please.  Amen.
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