We hear it all the time- “Just talk to God. God is always listening.” There is something cognitive and something in the heart about statements such as these. Cognitively, we know that God is always listening because God is God. It is easy to say this; even to listen. What is not easy is practicing prayer as if we are talking directly to God.
Charlie Dawes’s Simple Prayer guides the reader in talking openly with God. We are to pray prayers of restoration, forgiveness, trust, unity, and faith, and all prayers come from within the heart. It seems we try to ensure our prayers are long enough or sound genuine, that we forget who we are talking to. Prayer, in a sense, has become a performance. We are more focused on sophistication rather than simplicity.
I have never experienced a bad time to pray. As I said, God is always listening. Yet, we seem to only talk to God when we need something; rarely when we are thankful. Sometimes we may talk to God when we are wounded. Dawes on being wounded says, “The beauty of Jesus is that he can make things whole even with our wounded faith…This simple prayer (above) picks us up when we are weak and unsure…and brings us to a place where we can depend on the words of Jesus” (53). This is the prayer we need. Prayer of trust in God that God always listens. We may not like the answer, but our desired outcome should not be the objective of our prayer; God’s will should be our objective.
My prayer life is not what it should be. Most people’s prayer lives are not what they should be. Even if we have wonderful times of prayer, there is always room for more. Dawes’ book reminds us that we do not have to wait for Sunday, our quiet/devotional time, or when we are feeling “religious enough.” It reminds us that we can pray anytime and anywhere because God is a God who is everywhere.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from InterVarsity Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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