By Bo Prosser
Many of us try to speak more in our prayers than is necessary. Consider the words of the Psalmist in Psalm 139 or the words of Jesus in Matthew 6 or 10. God already knows. Consider the modern-day prayer of author Anne Lamott, “Help me, help me, help me…Thank you, thank you, thank you.” God does not desire flowery words flung toward the heavens. God desires time with us.
This month, try praying ONE WORD prayers. This prayer practice will feel awkward at first. Keep up the practice for a few days and you’ll ease into intimacy with God. Know what God desires most is time with you; be still and be with God. After a few moments of silence, verbalize one word that you want to say to God or need from God, either for the day ahead or for the day to come tomorrow. Think, “Peace.” Or, “Security.” Or, “Grateful!” Say the word out loud; write the word down in your prayer journal. Verbalize the word for a few minutes repeating the word, pausing, repeating the word and pausing. The rhythm of the prayer depends on your interaction with God.
Now, add one more part to the prayer experience. Include one of the names from the prayer list into your prayer. Pray, “God, today please give (say their name) this same gift of (say your word).” Sit quietly with your word for just a minute more knowing that God has heard your prayer.
If you will, stay with this one word all week or even all month. Pray for the same person all week or all month. Pray your one word until you feel God has responded. Then, choose a different word as the month progresses. Pray with confidence knowing that the simplicity of your prayer has been heard. “Help me, thank you, wow!”