God is a breath away. He wants to hear what you have to say.
For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Matthew 6:5
The memory of the moment still gives me shivers. I was sitting by my daddy during an evening church service when the minister asked, “Harrison Dunn, would you please lead us in prayer?”
I couldn’t breathe as I watched my six-foot-four father stand hesitantly. Didn’t that minister know that Daddy had never prayed in public? He certainly didn’t have the fancy language that so many of the “praying people” in our church used.
I looked up at my mother and saw that she, too, was holding her breath. Daddy’s booming voice trembled as he said what seemed to me to be a perfect prayer: “God, walk with us. Help us be good. Amen.”
I grabbed his hand as he sat back down, pretty sure that this was the last Sunday evening service we’d be attending for a long time to come.
We’ve all endured public prayers who glory in flowery words and Bible quotes and whatever else it takes to keep their audience captive. Nothing’s changed, it seems, since Jesus talked about the ostentatious worshipers of His day. But apart from the grandstanders, what about the rest of us, those who hesitate because we feel inadequate or are intimidated by the soliloquies that some church leaders deliver?
In light of that long ago night when Daddy was called on to pray, I’ve worked to understand what God might really want from us.
So far, this is what I know: God is a breath away. He wants to hear what you have to say. He hopes that you will choose to come as you are. And to God our Father, nobody says it better than you!
Father, I can make anything complicated, even talking to You. But You make everything simple.