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Please Note: If you received an email form me on Saturday, October 1, regarding a 31-Day series, it was in error. I apologize for the confusion. It is a topic I am working on, but am not ready to share it just yet. Thank you for understanding. Now, on to my prayer tip:
While praying the other day in the restroom at work, of all places, I noticed a deficiency in my prayer. I was actually praying for a co-worker who has recently been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer so he is on my mind often throughout the day. I caught myself saying something like, “God, I’m just praying for his healing…” Now, that’s just a silly thing to say when you think about it—not the part about requesting healing, but my phrase “…I’m just praying…” I would never say to my husband, “Honey, I am just communicating to you that I want you to…” I would simply state my request to my husband; he already knows that I am speaking to him. God is also aware that I am speaking to Him, so there is no need for me to waste time or energy on clarifying the obvious for Him.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary gives a simple definition for the word pray: “to speak to God especially in order to give thanks or to ask for something.” To pray is to communicate something to God. I realized that my problem phrase fell into that area of redundancy that is noted in Matthew 6:7.
“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.” Matthew 6:7
Now, I realize that I am being a little bit hard on myself with this self-critique, but this scripture did come to mind. I realized that I often say, “Lord, I am just praying this…Lord, I am just praying that…” and I’ve now decided that I am done saying that little prayer filler phrase. It is a useless phrase, isn’t it?
This whole discussion with myself prompted me to craft some better phrasing. Here are some of my new choices…
- God, I am believing in your healing power to heal my friend.
- Father, I am trusting you to heal my colleague
- Lord, I am giving this sickness over to You for You are the Great Physician.
Just by making these minor adjustments in my phrasing, I have crafted a much higher-quality prayer petition. Notice how much more confident these statements are? God loves confident prayers! How confident are your prayers?
Next up! #ShePrayerJournals Video workshops:
Gina Duke is the award-winning author of Organizing Your Prayer Closet: A New and Life-Changing Way to Pray (Abingdon Press), that introduces the gift of structured prayer journaling. You can enjoy her weekly #ShePrayerJournals weekend workshops on YouTube, and follower her on Twitter and Instagram at @TheGinaDuke.