Pray Briefly

A colleague remarked to me the other day about the difficulty of writing dictionary articles.  A limited word count forces one to be concise and to the point.  Words must be chosen carefully and thoughts expressed concisely.  Other types of writing allow one to be less careful and, well, lazier.

I thought immediately of prayer.  Praying briefly forces one to choose words carefully, to speak plainly.

I’ve mentioned before that in a prayer service several years ago in which we prayed for one another, my friend John asked us to pray one-sentence prayers.  It was one of the more meaningful prayer times I can remember.  We were forced to think about what we were praying.

Jesus speaks directly to this:

When you pray, don’t pour out a flood of empty words, as the Gentiles do. They think that by saying many words they’ll be heard. Don’t be like them, because your Father knows what you need before you ask (Matthew 6:7-8, CEB).

Consider praying briefly and plainly.  It will make your praying more thoughtful.


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