ArticleBible & Theology

Prayer Focus: Keep It Simple

Complicated prayers don't achieve better results.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as  the Gentiles do, for  they think that they will be heard  for their many words.   Do not be like them,  for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:7-8 ESV)

Keep it simple.

Jesus’ teaching on prayer follows this approach. He forbade extravagant performances of prayer that seek the praise of men (6:5-6). But he also forbade the use of empty phrases and many words in prayer. Some translations use, “babbling” or “vain repetitions.” The word means to talk excessively and pointlessly.

Gentiles, pagans, and heathens pray like this with a false understanding that many words will produce answered prayers. Jesus said, “don’t do this.” “Don’t be like them.”

It is not the repetitive chanting of words and phrases that gains God’s attention. We don’t need to win an audience with Him or impress Him with many words. We have a Father who knows our needs before we even speak. Therefore, we must get to the point and ask for help.

There are too many global prayer needs to waste time on vain repetitions. Unreached people groups need the gospel. Resources need to be utilized. Workers need to be sent.

Let’s keep our prayer simple.

This week, let’s pray:

“Heavenly Father, my prayer request is simple. Use me to take the Gospel to lost people. Let me to be a catalyst for reaching the unreached.”

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About the Author

Bobby Hile is ABWE’s Director of Long-Term Mobilization. Prior to that, he served for 9 years as a senior pastor in Ohio and for almost 20 years with ABWE as a missionary in South Africa.

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