I wrote a previous post about Christians making a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible on a more regular basis. In light of this, I made a few comments about my favorite study Bible.
Another ‘Christian’ New Year’s resolution often made is to pray more than we did in the previous year.
Prayer is a such a beautiful struggle for me at times. Sometimes I find myself lost in communion with Christ and lose track of time. While at other times, I can’t seem to get two cohesive, comprehendible thoughts connected back-to-back.
But one thing I think I have learned is this: God loves a simple, humble prayer of praise and dependence.
I was recently thinking about The Lord’s Prayer and I was struck by the simplicity and sincerity of how Christ instructed His disciples to pray.
I have a tendency to admire people who seem to able to use soaring lofty words and complex theological notions to offer up profound prayers for great lengths of time.
Perhaps they think they will be heard because of their many words. Perhaps their prayer is more about people being impressed with their ‘great praying.’
Don’t get me wrong. I appreciate prayer warriors. I think I have been the beneficiary of some godly saints praying on my behalf. But sometimes I just find myself exhausted from the daily grind of life and all I seem to be able to muster in my time of prayer is something akin to ‘God help!’
So, I find great encouragement in the simplicity of The Lord’s Prayer. I appreciate the God-focus of Jesus’ words. It’s a prayer for God to be God in our lives. It’s a simple prayer of humbly acknowledging dependency on God.
I was recently reading the Didache (chp.8): a Christian text for the 1st century. The Apostles took Jesus words seriously. When He said don’t use many words like the hypocrites, they thought He meant it.
According to the Didache, the Apostles instructed those first Christians to avoid long prayers. Instead, they were to simply and sincerely pray The Lord’s Prayer three times daily.
I also have been noticing the simple content of the prayers of the Bible. Paul gives us insight into his prayer life because he frequently mentions the subject matter of his prayers. He prays for things like safe travels, ministry success, believer’s faith, hope, and love, unbeliever’s belief in the Gospel, and other things I can really relate to.
If your desire is to pray more in 2018, then great. Pray regularly. Pray sincerely. Pray simply.