So, when it comes to praying, I’m fickle! Sometimes, I’m caught up in the moment, lost in God’s warmth and Presence, and feeling awed at our amazing connection. At those times, I don’t want to stop praying at all. I just want to hang out there and bask in the moment. We’ve talked. We’ve understood each other. It’s been glorious. 

Other times, perhaps most other times, I’m stumbling through the prayers, hoping God gets what I’m trying to say. The words are anything but precise and beautiful. I’m confused, uncertain and not quite tuned in the way I wish I could be. It’s frustrating because I want prayer to fix things, but if I can’t say it right, how can God know what I want Him to fix?

Ah, there’s the thing! God doesn’t need me to come in with an articulate report on the state of my life, heart, mind and soul. He already knows exactly what is going on. He doesn’t need my words to be fancy, or loud, or whispered. In fact, the delivery is not important to Him. What’s important is that I choose to pray. He wants me to come to Him and share my heart. It’s as simple as that!

As human beings, we like to be good at what we do though. We hear those amazing prayer warriors at church who could out-pray the Saints and we imagine our prayers are nowhere near that good. We have friends who always seem to know the right words to say, and we are happy when they pray for us. It seems good to hear those perfectly crafted words going from our hearts to God’s ear. 

One of the beautiful things about God though is that He listens to our hearts. He hears what we say and even what we don’t say. He receives our intentions and our focus knowing how sincerely we seek His help. He inspires us through prayer, by prayer and with prayer to rest in Him and to trust Him to listen with love. This is important because we can get frustrated by our sense that we did not pray well. Chances are good that you seldom use the right words, but all you need is the right heart.

God doesn’t have a naughty and nice list. He’s not checking to see whether you deserve His help. He is only interested in the reason you’ve come before Him. When you seek Him with all your heart, He finds you. He hears you and He honors what you came to say.

This year, surrender your heart to God and He will receive every word you say with love.

(A thought from my new book, Prayers to Strengthen Your Soul, coming out in February.)