Over time, if you put something in the hands of Christians, chances are we will make it more complicated than it needs to be, and turn it into a means to puff up our spiritual pride.
Such is often the case with prayer. What God intended to be a simple dynamic of our relationship to Him, we have often made into a complicated, formulated, legalistic religious ritual.
Prayer is simply talking and listening to God. Nothing more, nothing less.
It’s not how you pray, as if God were into verbosity, postures, formality, formulas, or eloquence as a condition or key for prayer.
It’s not where you pray, is if God was a location snob, territorial, or contextually limited.
It’s not how long you pray, as if God were holding a stop watch, doing a word count, or was impressed by stamina, waiting for that “o.k, that’s enough” moment to respond. The false notion that “the more you pray, the more God responds” places the power of prayer on you and not God.
It’s not how hard you pray, as if you have to bend God’s ear, wrench His blessings, or prove you’re seriousness in order for Him to reply or to increase His willingness to reply favorably.
It’s not how loud you pray, as if God is hard of hearing.
It’s not how good you are as a person, as if anyone’s righteousness before God comes from their own performance.
God already knows what you need long before you ask, He knows the desires of your heart, long before you express them.
So, why pray?
It’s simple, because God enjoys hearing from you, and you could benefit from hear from Him. Prayer alone is not what moves the heart and hands of God, faith is. Prayer coupled with faith is truly powerful, it releases God to work on your behalf. Faith is the key.
Stop trying to impress God (or others) with prayer. Stop using prayer as a way to appease some imagined condition you have imposed on God’s willingness to bless and move in your life. Your prayers do not make God any more or less willing to bless, prosper, and move on your behalf. Stop using prayer as a spiritual thing-to-do to fulfill some kind of Christian duty, show you are serious about Jesus, gain the gleam of God’s eye, or stay in good standing with Him. Stop asking God to do what He has already done, and begging Him to do what He is already willing to do. All of that takes the power out of prayer and turns it into an empty religious act.
Rather, make you prayers full of thanksgiving, words (declarations) of faith, and honest requests. Then, listen.
Keep it simple, personal, and genuine.
It’s the heart and faith behind your prayers that matter, not your words, volume, length, posture, location, intensity, or depth.