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A Case for Short Prayers

Picture of Greg Stier
Greg Stier

file0001404780822Lord save me!” was Peter’s short prayer when he began sinking into the waves. A water-walking Savior saved him in a mili-second. If Peter’s prayer had been a syllable longer he’d have been sleeping with the fishes.

What’s true of Peter is true of us. Sometimes we need to shout out a quick prayer to God for help.

It may be while skidding to a stop in your car trying to avoid an accident. It may be when that friend, whom you’ve been working on for years, finally asks “So tell me more about this Jesus thing.” It may be right between that moment of anger and action that can either build or destroy a relationship.

Whenever or wherever it may be, short prayers can come in handy.

Nehemiah shot up a quick request in Nehemiah 2:4,5 when, out of the blue, King Artaxerxes asked him what he wanted. Before Nehemiah answered he silently catapulted a short prayer to the King of kings.
And God came to his rescue.

Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:7,8, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”

God isn’t deaf so we don’t have to keep repeating ourselves. He knows what we need so all we have to do is ask. God isn’t impressed with our adjectives. He wants to hear subjects, verbs and direct objects when it comes to our urgent supplications.

He can hear our short prayers and answer them in an instant. And he often does just that. As a matter of fact I’m convinced that a short prayer uttered in faith is infinitely better than the most lofty and lengthy prayer given for show.

Spurgeon put it this way, “Prayer is not to be measured by the yard, nor weighed by the pound. It is the might and force of it—the truth and reality of it—the energy and the intensity of it.”

So enjoy your sweet hour of prayer. But, when the time calls for it, go ahead and utter your three syllable prayer.

And Jesus will come to your rescue too.

Unlikely Fighter

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The story of how a fatherless street kid overcame violence, chaos, and confusion to become a radical Christ follower.

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