It's Not Size That Counts
"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." (Matthew 6:7-8)
Many of us want to grow in prayer, but often feel overwhelmed by the sheer thought of it. We imagine that everyone else’s prayers are so much better, so much longer, so much more powerful than our own; and so, defeated already, we never begin. How refreshing it is, therefore, to see that so many powerful prayers in the Bible were unbelievably short! You see, it’s not the size that counts; what matters to God is sincerity. And here, to prove it, are some of the Bible’s shortest – yet most powerful! - prayers:
"Now show me your glory" (Exodus 33:18); "O God, please heal her!" (Numbers 12:13); "Speak, for your servant is listening" (1 Samuel 3:10); "O Lord, open his eyes so that he may see" (2 Kings 6:17); "Remember me with favor, O my God" (Nehemiah 13:31); "For how long, O Lord?"(Isaiah 6:11); "Lord, you can heal me if you will" (Matthew 8:2, NCV); "Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!" (Matthew 8:25); "I believe; help my unbelief" (Mark 9:24, NRSV); "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" (Luke 17:13, NKJV); "Who are you, Lord?" (Acts 9:5); "Come, O Lord!’" (1 Corinthians 16:22).
Pretty short prayers, eh? So short that we might think they were useless, that they couldn’t possible achieve anything. But how wrong we’d be! For these prayers proved to be some of the most significant prayers ever made, with results completely disproportionate to their length.
So, in a world where the size of everything seems to matter, remember that, when it comes to prayer, "size" is completely irrelevant. Don’t think your prayers are ineffective just because they seem short. It’s not your prayers that matter, but your God! And wherever he sees a genuine heart, he has committed himself to hearing and answering. So, pray those prayers today, short though they may be! They may be more powerful than you think!
The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense.’ (Matthew 6:7-8, The Message)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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