What does simple prayer look like? Whatever your heart desires to pray about.
It’s that simple. But, I know many of us like to have rules and patterns, so here are three simple guidelines for simple prayer:
Conversation not Ritual
Simple prayer is about spending time talking to God not checking off a box in your spiritual check list. Focus on God and just talk to Him about whatever it is you want to talk about.
Centered in Love not Fear
To be honest, I have often been afraid that if I didn’t confess all my sins then maybe God wouldn’t listen to my prayer. And what if I don’t pray for so and so, then maybe God won’t bless them – or heal them – and it will be my fault. And if I don’t adore God enough with praise then He won’t be pleased enough to answer my prayers.
The list could go on and on with fears that we have about God. But what if God really loves us like He says He does? What if Jesus’ example of spending time with sinners is really what God is like? Then I can rest in God’s love and simply talk to Him.
Is there a place for confession? Certainly – especially when the Spirit is moving my heart to confess. Shouldn’t I pray for others? Of course – especially when the the Spirit lays someone on your heart. Shouldn’t I … There are many good things we can and should do in prayer. My point is not that you should stop doing them, or even that you should stop having a prayer list or prayer pattern. My point is that it is OK sometimes (many times?) to just have times of simple prayer.
Freedom not Rules
In the end all I am saying is that God loves you and wants to hear from you and that is more important than any prayer rule or pattern you have ever been taught. Trust in God’s love and simply talk to Him.
by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory
Worship Director at Crosspointe Church.