Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

empty prayers

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. [Matthew 6:7-8 CEV]

Two phrases pop out at me: "empty phrases" and "many words".

Several times a week I pray the Lord's prayer in a group setting. I have to consciously slow myself down so that I can think about the words that I am praying. It is so easy to pray and not think about the words that we are praying.

Jesus helps us by telling us that it is not really about the great words that we speak. He indicates that prayer is simply sharing our hearts with the Father. Not really the effective communication of our prayers but simply the actual act of prayer.

Lord, you already know about what we need. You patiently wait for us to simply pray. You long for us to invite you to help us. You long for us to simply share our hearts with you. Slow us down Father. Help us to be real when we pray.


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