Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple

Brene’ Brown, famed author, speaker, and researcher said that two of the most powerful words we can hear in the human language are simply, “Me too.”

And I can already tell you that when I unleash this next confession, I am certain, I will hear a resounding, “ME TOO!” from many of you who likely feel the same.

If you are not my mother or sweet husband, and my phone rings with your name on it (or worse, God forbid, a number not in my contacts list), and I am not expecting your call…

My heart will begin to pound as if I have just completed a triathlon I had not trained for.  My anxiety will begin to run away like a bullet train.  And it will take every effort for me to feign a calm, “Hello?”  (Note: Don’t even get me started on “I have to ask you something.”  Or “Can we talk later this week?”  Just mark it down, I may go into full blown cardiac arrest.  Bless it, Jesus.)

Please just text me.  Please.  For the love of all that is good.  And immediately tell me the reason for your call.  Do not pass go, do collect $200.  Just straight to the point lest I keel over and die from some fabricated scenario that you hate me, something awful has happened to someone I love, or my doctor called you with my terrible diagnosis.

Geez.  I’m not dramatic at all.

But listen, we live in a society where texting has become the norm for communication to the extent that simple conversation has created an overwhelm of anxiety and awkwardness.  We no longer know the subtle art of the spoken word.  Every bit of communication is filtered through technology that provides us with the whole world at our fingertips and yet we are stuck in an ocean of isolation…

Perhaps this is why, in a 21st century technology driven culture, the idea of prayer for so many seems like such a difficult concept to grasp.  This week, my boys went to a day camp at church.  They talked about the power of prayer.  They were told that nothing is too silly for God.  He cares about every request.  This led to a conversation about what it means to talk to God.  What God’s word says about His promises to us.  That we truly can ask God for anything.

In our own family, we have been praying for several things.  I asked the boys if they thought about these things often.  They assured me that they did.  I told them it was simple.  Whenever you think of it, all you have to do is say, in your heart or out loud, Jesus, please give us what we need.  That’s it.  How will He ever give us what we need if we don’t ask Him for it, right?

I felt pleased with my ability to teach them such simple Godly principles.  It was a sweet moment.  It was a moment that I hope they hang on to and remember even as men pacing the floor for their own families one day.

And here I am.  With big needs, and finally the quiet to talk to God about it.  And when the moment settles and I begin to pray, I find myself a little bit like the student unprepared for the essay portion of the test.  Tapping my figurative pencil attempting to come up with something profound and wonderful that I could say to a God who sets the whole world in motion.  And yet, silence.

But suddenly, a scripture comes flooding back to my memory and a revelation swoops in on its heels.  If you have faith like a mustard seed, say to this mountain, “move” and it will be moved.  If my faith only has to be as big as a mustard seed, which is nearly microscopic, then perhaps my prayers don’t need to be quite so grandiose either.

You see, God’s ability to do great things does not hinge on the greatness of my prayers.  His excellence is not defined by my eloquence.

If my kids want a snack, they don’t come to me and say, “Oh Mother who provides every grocery in this house, I have found myself in a situation in which my stomach appears to feel somewhat empty.  And Mother, I believe what you have said that you will love me and you will provide for me, and so I come to you today, right here in this moment, and I ask you if it would be your will that you would deliver unto me a bag of Cheetos.”

Y’all.  That seems almost ridiculous!  Do you know what those boys will say, “Momma, can I please have a snack?”  It’s that simple.  And being the good (I hope) mother that I am, I will determine if the timing and the circumstances are right, and then I will hand over a bag of Cheetos in good time.  My bible says that if I know to do well for my kids, then how much more can the God of the universe who is without fault do for me?

It’s that easy.

I think we are often too scared to pray and ask God for things because we fear we don’t know how to articulate our needs to the Maker of the Universe.  But all we have to do is just ask.  The bible reveres the faith of a child.  There are moments in the new testament where Jesus says, “Let the little children come unto me.”  So just come.  And simply believe.

You don’t have to have all the right words.

You don’t have to sound professional.

You don’t have to have a masterful delivery.

Simply ask and believe.  Praying is easy.  It’s our worry over the performance that makes it hard.  God is not interested in your performance.  He is simply interested in a humble heart that comes believing that if He loves us, He will do what is best.  We don’t have to worry.  We don’t have to fear.  We don’t have to pull together an Oscar winning execution of impressive prayers.  God is not impressed by my fancy prayers.  Just ask and believe… and then watch as His goodness is revealed where you least expect it…


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