Answer me when I call to You, O God who declares me innocent.
Free me from my troubles.
Have mercy on me [be gracious to me] and hear my prayer.
Psalm 4:1 NLT
I like the simplicity of David’s prayer. Reminds me of a Max Lucado devotional entitled, Prayer’s Aren’t Graded:
“Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite. The more words the better! We emphasize the appropriate prayer language, the latest prayer trend, the holiest prayer terminology. Against all this emphasis on syllables and rituals, Jesus says in Matthew 6:7: ‘Don’t ramble like heathens who talk a lot.’ There’s no panel of angelic judges with numbered cards.”
I love the line “There’s no panel of angelic judges with numbered cards.” Sometimes we pray like we think there is. God doesn’t count our words or measure our syntax. He doesn’t edit our grammar. God looks at our heart. As the Scriptures tell us:
Man does not see what the Lord sees, for man sees what is visible,
but the Lord sees the heart.
1 Samuel 16:7b (HCSB)
For You look deep within the mind and heart, O righteous God.
Psalm 7:9b (NLT)
In this verse David used only a few words, but he prayed with passion. David’s prayer came from deep within his heart. Take a look at James 5:16b (AMP):
The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man
makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].
It doesn’t say the ‘perfect’ prayer. It doesn’t say the prayer of 100 words or more. It says the “earnest (heartfelt, continued)” prayer. God already knows what is on your heart. He just wants you to share it with Him. It doesn’t really matter how you share it, as long as you do share it with Him. Even if you can’t put it into words or express it verbally. Romans 8:26 (AMP) states:
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness;
for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf
with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
Prayer doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to be heartfelt. It needs to be uttered with passion. Even if it is only to call His name – Jesus! God honors fervent prayers by being merciful and gracious to us.
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Holy Father, I am so thankful my prayers do not have to be perfect to be heard. You know what is in my heart and You long for me to share it with You. Thank You for the intimacy prayer brings. Thank You for the mercy and grace you extend to me, undeserving as I am. May I lift up my requests to You with heartfelt passion. In Your Holy name I pray, Amen – It Is So!