What’s prayer, anyway? I like J. I. Packer’s definition.
“The prayer of a Christian is not an attempt to force God’s hand, but a humble acknowledgement of helplessness and dependence.”
Prayer takes different forms. Sometimes it’s liturgical and recited aloud in a formal church setting. Sometimes it’s private, penned in one’s journal for only the author to see. Prayer might follow a formula such as ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication), or it might be a simple one word—“Help!”
Psalm 107:1-43 contains four instances where people prayed using only the word, “Help!” Here’s one example—“Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless. Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. ‘Lord, help!’ they cried in their trouble, and he rescued them from their distress.”
Our prayers don’t have to be long to be heard. Short ones like —“Help!”—whispered or cried from a heart desperate for God’s provision or intervention can stir Him to answer.
Are you an exhausted parent barely able to drag yourself from bed?
Are you in a marriage that’s struggling to breathe?
Are you wrestling with a major decision?
Are you baffled by a family member’s behavior?
Are you struggling with physical or mental health concerns?
Are you watching the news and feeling fear’s paralyzing effect?
Never hesitate to pray because you think your words don’t sound spiritual enough.
Who’s to say what “spiritual enough” is, anyway? God’s most concerned about our heart attitude than how many words we use or how eloquent they sound. Prayer is our way to show Him that we understand our need for Him, and we want and welcome His involvement in our lives.
How can I pray for you today?
By the way, my two latest devotional books—Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos and Keeping Hope Alive: Devotions for Strength in the Storm—each contain ninety sentence prayers to help readers know what to pray when they don’t know what to say. They’re available wherever Christian books are sold.