Thursday, May 5, 2011

What's in a Prayer?

I've been thinking a lot lately about prayer. Have you heard this? "I am horrible at praying." "I don't want you to pray for that, there are much worse things than my little problems."  Not only have I heard these things, I have said them.  
What I have come to realize is God wants what's on my heart laid before him. It doesn't have to sound right, or follow a formula.  We don't have to think so hard about what we come to God with. He cares about the minutia of our day as well as the "big" stuff.  
Sometimes I feel the need to repent and I don't even know exactly what for. Or at least I don't know how to put it in to words. That's ok. I can be confident that He knows.

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. Psalm 139:1-4

What God delights in is the simple fact that I come to Him. That I seek his guidance and forgiveness, even if my wording is not perfect.  My prayers can be a jumbled mess and God hears them.
This became even more clear to me the other night as I listened to N pray:

"Dear God, thank you for this day. I didn't eat my dinner so there is no candy or dessert. I pray for a good day tomorrow. Everybody say amen."

This made my heart skip a beat and delighted me more than I can describe. And I realized...if this delighted me, how much more did it delight the Lord. And doesn't he get the same delight when I pray to him.
I want us all to be encouraged that He knows, and He wants us to tell him, however it may sound.


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15 comments:

hannah singer said...

amen. thanks for the encouragement. i go straight to the psalms when i feel "dry"-just reading them aloud to the lord as prayers really helps!

katie said...

I love "you have searched me." When you think about the word search. Not browse. Not glance quickly. Searched. To me, that speaks volumes about God's love for us. Thanks for your encouragement.

Rachel said...

The prayers out of little ones certainly do bless. I remember the lesson I learned from hearing my once three year old pray, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." There are so many times where I go back to the times when I have no words -- just like my Brennan prayed.

Powerful post.

Rachel

virginiamae said...

Love that passage! Whenever I read it, it is convicting and refreshing at the same time! Thanks for sharing =)

cami said...

beautifully written!

myriahmae said...

I love how we can come to our father with child like faith and just pour out our lives to him. Great post!

Meredith said...

Love it; every night B prays that God will help him to be a good baseball player and not hit foul balls. Every...single...night!

Amy Sullivan said...

Clicked over from Casey's. Thanks for taking some time to focus on prayer. My two-year-old prays at dinner every night, and it's always the same prayer.

"Thanks, and God says amen." You'd think I'd tire of hearing those sweet words, but I never do!

Laurie J said...

so true. thanks for the sweet reminder!
<3

alison said...

i struggled for a long time worrying about how to pray to God. but in the words of beth moore, we should be comfortable enough with God to make small talk with him. it doesn't have to be flowery or preachy sounding....God just wants us to TALK to Him! oh if we could always be as candid with the Lord as kids are.... ;)

Kelly said...

Precious!

susanna internicola said...

so true and inspiring jami!! thankyou for sharing!

Shanda said...

Sometimes I feel the need to repent and I don't even know exactly what for. Or at least I don't know how to put it in to words. That's ok. I can be confident that He knows.
I love that quote as it is a sign of being in tune with God's leading! Great post.

Lyryn said...

This is a wonderful post! We should come to Him daily as a children asking to a Father. We sometimes forget in lifes daily craziness.

Laura@Faith Hope Love said...

So happy you found me and now I found you! :) Loved this by way, so so sweet and... TRUE!