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Simple Prayers December 22, 2010

Posted by theronwatson in Uncategorized.
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Psalm 70
When you find yourself in the midst of adversity or in turmoil, where do you turn? Many people say, “Well, all there is left to do now is pray.” Prayer should not be the last resort; it really should be the first. Prayer should be the first thing we do when we wake up and the last thing we do when we lay down to sleep. We should pray periodically through the day as well. This is my best understanding of Paul’s “pray without ceasing” statement. We should be in a sort of constant state of prayer. The problem is however, that we do not always know what to pray for or about until we are in the midst of difficulty. It would be difficult to know to say, “Dear God, protect me from some unforeseen difficulty that I haven’t come up against yet.” Or, God may use something like that to teach a valuable lesson. A way to pray then is, “Lord, help me learn this lesson quickly.”
Simple prayers seem to be the best, cries from the heart with earnestness and sincerity. Some say prayers should be very specific, that we should say what we want or need as if God does not know. I do not necessarily agree with that. God knows our needs even before we ask them. I believe He simply wants us to ask; to know our need, to feel our need. Sometimes we have to grope our way to the fountain in order to ‘feel’ our blindness; like the man born blind that Jesus healed in John 9.
In the midst of difficulty, we do not pray like Job. Our prayers are not high and lofty. We do not pray in poetry. They are not in the King James Version, nor in the Queen’s English. They are typically short prayers of desperation. Fortunately we have an Advocate, a Helper that intercedes for us with groans. Here in Psalm 70, David prays in such a way. He uses short phrases. He cries out to God in desperation. He is specific, mentioning the internal turmoil he is feeling. He tells God what he would like to see happen to his foes, but does not get in God’s way to enact the things that he wanted to happen. After all, “Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.” He spoke in prayer what he wanted for them and for himself. He also spoke in prayer the ultimate answer, that his foes would turn from their wickedness and seek God. He prayed for the righteous to be blessed. The phrases are short and specific. There is no fluff and no pretenses. He simply throws it out there and lets go of it for God to deal with it.
I learned to pray only a few short years ago. Before that, I prayed, but I was praying in poetry and prose as if trying to impress God. I tried to think of everything as if I was telling God something He didn’t know, or like I was covering all my bases to avoid getting the short end of some ‘deal.’ I was visiting a friend from seminary who was pastoring a church in small town Mississippi. At the close of the service, he invited his oldest son to close in prayer. He was about 16 at the time. I was struck by the innocence and the sincerity of his prayer. He simply said “please.” “Please God, bless them…” “Please God, take care of that…” I have since used this example many times when praying for myself and when teaching others to pray. It is simply a three phase prayer. It is very simple and goes like this: “Dear God, I need a… Please help me… Or, Dear God, I am… Would You…” That’s it.
Try it. It is so easy, almost too easy. I have shared this with others who doubt its effectiveness because it seems TOO simple, they think. My point exactly. Pray like this; “Dear God, I need a job, please would You help me find one?” “Dear God, I need Your guidance, please would You give it to me?” “Dear God, I feel distant from you, please would You help me find You again.” “Dear God, please bless my mother, she needs Your touch.”
That’s it. Try it. See if it works for you.

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