Words … Words … Words

Words … Words … Words April 16, 2024

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Words … Words … Words


“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” (Matthew 6:7-8). Words … Words … Words …


Here is my disclaimer: I don’t mean to be critical, or prideful, and this blog may border on both. I’m truly sorry. Please just consider my words for what they may be worth.

How Do You Talk to God?

Ever wonder what your prayers sound like to God? Imagine talking to your husband the same way that you talk to God:

John, my husband, my friend, my dear love, I just want to say that I am just so thankful for you today, John. Husband, I just want you to know, my friend, that the gutters just need to be cleaned out, John. I just know that you know that, but I just wanted to tell you. And John, I just feel like we should get some groceries, although, Husband, I am just so grateful for the groceries that we have in the kitchen and just for all the groceries that you have ever provided, Husband, for our household. We are all just so thankful for the provision that you, oh John, have brought into our household, John. I just want to say that we are just abundantly blessed, dear husband, my John.


132 total words

29 words call his name, pronoun for his name, or term of endearment

12 X just


Nearly one third of the content of that communication is merely words … words … words …

Is It a Trend?

I think this is a prayer trend. I sure can’t remember ever hearing people pray this way when I was a child. 


It may have come about during the 80s church movement “Will You Not Watch With Me For One Hour?” which encouraged people, obviously, to pray for an hour. The intent was certainly noble. Right before His arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked the sleepy Peter, “Can you not watch with me for one hour?” However, when Jesus asked the question, I do not believe He meant that Peter should just fill up an hour with words.

What Does Jesus Expect?

There are times in all relationships when words are just not needed. Other times, few words completely suffice. That goes for people; that goes for God.

I don’t believe an hour, two hours, whatever time limit, is the key to effective prayers–you know, the effectual, fervent kind that avail much. The key is to be in tune with the heart of God, seeking out His plan and purpose in any situation, and pressing into that with whatever He gives you … words or not.

Vance Morgan writes: “What would it mean to watch and not fall asleep, to share in God’s sufferings? Where exactly is God suffering in our world? Everywhere that a human being has a need of any sort, God is in the middle of it. There is so much suffering that it can be overwhelming. No one of us, not even any one group of us, no matter how well-meaning, can make a significant dent. But Jesus isn’t asking the disciples to do anything other than to be aware, to be attentive, and not to tune out.” 

The Way of Intentional Prayer

Jesus, in fact, gave us an outline for specific, intentional prayer:

“After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13).

If we use that prayer as a model instead of just words to memorize and recite, and if we flesh each section out with the daily events and concerns that apply, an hour (or more) will be spent, and you won’t be aware of the clock. And by the way, I don’t think Jesus is gazing at His watch either.

As John Piper said in his podcast,  “I’m Confused–Are We to Pray With Few Words or Without Ceasing,” “yes, continually go to the Lord. Let’s have a constant spirit of dependence on Him. Let’s never grow weary in asking and seeking and knocking. But let’s not fall into the trap of thinking that multiplying many words, multiplying phrases will get more out of God than to-the-point, faith-filled requests.” 

Short and to the Point

This blog is short, but I don’t want to add just words … words … words … to make a point. Hopefully, my point is made.


God bless you, and may you pray in the spirit and with understanding.


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