How Complicated is Prayer?

Have you ever noticed how many books about prayer are out there? There are books on how to pray, when to pray, where to pray, and on and on. Now, as a writer, I love books, and I love to read. That being said, I'll admit that at this very moment, I have several prayer books on my bookshelf. There are many that I've read and really enjoyed. There are others that I've purchased but haven't yet had the opportunity to read. In my mind, books on any topic are great. I love books!

However, do you ever get the feeling that we sometimes over-complicate things? For example, in one book, the author comments that every successful Christian has done their praying first thing in the morning. Another author will comment that it's best to end your day with a conversation with the Lord. One book says that prayer should be friendly and conversational. Another says it should be holy and reverent. Many books use the Lord's prayer as a guide and then give an outline of what to say and when in your prayer to say it. It's no wonder so many of our prayer lives suffer!

God is not the author of confusion. Prayer is not supposed to be complicated. If you're concerned about when to pray, the Bible is clear on that. I Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." So when's the best time to pray? Anytime. All the time. As far as how to approach prayer, I've found the most comfort when I just come to Him in my current state. In other words, sometimes I need my Heavenly Father to wrap me in His arms and give me advice or direction. Sometimes, I need my Heavenly Husband to whisper words of love to me and to accept those endearments in return. Sometimes, I just need a Friend to listen to the burdens that are weighing heavy on my heart. Then, there are times that I need Mighty God to remind me of how great He is and what He can accomplish. I approach my prayer time differently depending on my need or state of mind.

That concept may or may not work for you, and that's fine. My point is that we don't want to make prayer time so complex that it's more of a drudgery than a joy. We should enjoy our conversations with the Lord instead of making them a glorified wish list or a step-by-step outline. If you're unsure how to simplify your prayer life, ask the Lord for guidance, then LISTEN for His response. Remember, it takes two people to have a conversation.

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
I Peter 5:7