I've read a mountain of books on prayer over the last twenty years. I know all the formulas for "powerful prayer" and I've used most of them. My prayer "technique," however, has become increasingly simple. In a way, it's been refined down to three key phrases.
"Abba, I love you so much because ..."
"I repent and surrender..."
"You know what's best in... so please do it..."
I know my "technique" looks nothing like the currently-famous prayer warriors, but this works for me. I don't have anything against techniques, but they don't fit me well. I prefer simple, honest, humble prayer. (I'm not saying I'm good at it, just that I believe it's best.)
Sometimes I talk with my Father about all the things He's done that make me laugh, or smile, or stand in awe.
The things I'm concerned about pale in comparison to Him, so, when I focus on Him, my worries seem a lot less pressing. it's not uncommon for me to say, "Here's the problem. What do you want to do about it?" or "I don't have any suggestions for you. Do whatever you think is best."
With that said, I still know about the authority Jesus has given to us and I still pray with that authority in mind, but not with the same bossiness I used to use.
Last night, I left my study Bible at my desk. This morning, I was too tired to walk downstairs again, (Sam and I were up a lot last night) so I opened my Message paraphrase. I don't study from this book, but I like the simplicity of the words, especially those in Matthew 6. I read this passage today, and it was such confirmation for me that I've reproduced it here so you can soak up these simple truths:
"And when you come before God, don't turn that into a theatrical production either. All those people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom? Do you think God sits in a box seat?
"Here's what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won't be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense His grace.
"The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They're full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don't fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply..." Matthew 6:1-8 the Message
Today, let's find a quiet place, be still, and talk to God as simply and honestly as we can, then be still some more and wait to see how He responds.
That's what I call powerful prayer. Simple. Honest. Listening. Waiting.
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The Whisper Gathering is three weeks away. We're not sharing techniques or formulas for fancy prayers. We're planning to help those who attend get real before God and each other, and let Him have His way with us. Simple. Honest. Listening. Waiting.
He speaks with a still, small Whisper, and that's what we most want to hear.
Ladies, I hope you'll join us. Space is limited but there are still a few spots available. Prayer like this is hard and exhausting and life-changing, so I hope those who can't attend will pray for those who do. We'll need your prayers more than ever.
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In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Caregiver Chronicles: When Endurance is the Only Choice You Have
If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Middle East, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841
Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.