No bad prayer

I’m with a team working with Samaritan’s Purse in South Carolina on a home that was flooded this past October in the massive floods here.  With staff and other volunteers, we routinely circle up with 30 people to pray.  Then as we split up and go to our job sites we circle up and pray with our small work teams.  The leader typically asks if there is anyone who would like to lead the group in prayer.  And people hesitate.  It would not bother me to pray every time.  I get paid to pray in public.  (It just occurred to me that my private prayer is unpaid, and I wonder how many pastors only pray when they’re getting paid for it, but I digress.)  I usually do not pray in the groups more that once in the week, just to give others the chance to step out in faith and grow by praying aloud before others.

What people do not realize it that it the very act of their prayer itself that pleases God.  The words you say in prayer matter less than the fact that you are saying them.  God has never heard a bad prayer from one of His children.  Think of yourself sitting at the bedside of a 5 year old saying their bedtime prayers.  You would never overhear the bedside prayer to God from a 5 year old and think “I could have done so much better” or “That was pathetic”.  No, you think what we all think.  “How sweet!”  How blessed are we to overhear this heartfelt conversation?

That is prayer.  The words aren’t as important as the simple fact that we humble ourselves and speak from the heart to our unseen Father, who looks down on His child and thinks “How sweet.”  And anyone who overhears our verbal prayer and doesn’t think the same… Well, they just don’t understand prayer.

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