Empty Words

At my high school we had what we called the Junior-Senior banquet, a Christian school’s version of prom. Each year the Juniors would come up with an elaborate theme and do all the work of putting on the banquet for the Seniors – all the decoration, menu, program, everything.

But one thing we had to have was a speaker who would give a message or devotional during the event. Well, as you can imagine, as Juniors in High School—even though it was a Christian school, and even though we were all missionary kids—we were NOT interested in some long-winded boring speech. Still, it was required, so we set about trying to find a speaker we could live with.

One Sunday during our regular service, a visiting missionary was asked to pray. He stood, said a few words, said amen and sat down. We immediately knew this was the one we would invite to be our speaker! (And, as I recall, he was a good choice, and had a great message for us.)

But what turned the tide in his favor? I think Matthew 6:6-7 holds the answer: “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.”

You see, just like us teenagers, God is not interested in long wordy prayers. God is not interested in how flowery or “King Jamesy” your prayer is. He’s not going to answer you just because you eloquently argue your cause.

God knows what you need—far better than you do. What He wants to know is, do you trust Him? Do you trust Him to give you what you need? Do you trust Him enough to tell Him, “Father, this is what’s on my heart. This is what I think I need.  But, Father, not my will but Yours be done. On earth as it is in heaven.”

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