KEEP IT SIMPLE

9 This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us today our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’ (Matthew 6:9-13)

26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
Quite often I go on to talkSPORT radio station to discuss the day’s sports news. I get myself sorted, have a gulp of water, step into the studio, be ready to go and then... sometimes stumble over my words - or worse still, just have a brain freeze and forget what to say. Not ideal!

And the same thing can happen with our prayers. You may be thinking you have a desire to pray, you have sorted out and gone to your prayer place… and now you don’t know what to say! Or you are in a prayer meeting with others all praying ‘good prayers’ and you are terrified of messing up your words, saying something wrong or simply unsure what to say. It doesn’t matter. God doesn’t get frustrated or think we are silly! Pete Greig says in How To Pray, “God knows we don’t always find it easy to string a sentence together in his presence… he understands we sometimes get tongue-tied, distracted, overwhelmed and confused.”

There will be times where you are simply lost for words out of sheer awe, though. Thankfully, we have solutions. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a pre-written prayer someone else has written. The Lord’s Prayer is the most famous of all prayers - and Jesus gave it to his disciples after they asked Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” You may want to use some of the prayers in the Psalms, from laments to praise. The Book of Common Prayer is another option if you want some other more structured, thematic prayers.

But also Paul writes that the Holy Spirit will help us to pray, He is praying on our behalf and saying ‘Amen’ alongside us in the presence of God the Father. We looked at the gift of tongues recently - if you activated that, then use it by praying in tongues. God doesn’t give us gifts for us to keep in the ‘box’ and leave to collect dust on the shelf.

The more we pray and read others’ prayers, the more fluent we become - like a language. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Just as a child learns to speak because his father speaks to him, so we learn to speak to God because God has spoken and speaks to us.”

As Pete Greig says when it comes to prayer, keep it simple, keep it real, keep it up.
1) What are your biggest struggles or worries when you get to your prayer place or in a prayer meeting?
2) How are you developing your ‘language’ of prayer?
3) What pre-written prayers do you have that you can use when lost for words?
“Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” “Praise be to you, Lord, the God of our father Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendor, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honor come from you; you are the ruler of all things. In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.” (1 Chronicles 29:10-13)

 
Today’s Everyday Devotions were brought to you by Joshua Jones and Cameron Johnson, part of the Wimbledon venue. 
 
If you have time, consider carrying on your conversation with God using one of our helpful Prayer Pathways.
 
Today’s Everyday Devotions have also inspired a devotional video that you can watch on our YouTube channel.

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