The Most Powerful Prayer in Just One Word

You can pray it for gratitude, comfort, grief and healing.

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Posted in , Jan 18, 2022

Powerful prayer

What’s the simplest prayer you’ve ever prayed? The shortest? 

It may have been “help.” That’s pretty basic…and, in my case, frequent. 

You may have prayed “yes” on occasion. If you’re anything like me, you’ve prayed “no” a bit more often. Even “maybe,” maybe. These are among the many one-word prayers that populate my prayer vocabulary. 

But there’s another one-word prayer that’s regularly in my heart and on my lips. It’s a prayer that conveys and expresses so much—perhaps more than all of the other prayers I pray. It’s one word, one name: Jesus. 

Sometimes I pray it for comfort, as I did recently when a beloved relative received her “promotion to glory,” as my family of faith often says. I wasn’t able to attend her memorial service, but watched it on a livestream, praying often in grief, in gratitude, in agreement: “Jesus.” 

I pray it often for help, especially when facing an urgent need: “Jesus.” I pray it for healing, repeating a petition I’ve voiced in detail many times: “Jesus.” I pray it in praise, sometimes singing: “Jesus!” 

I pray the name when I hardly know what else to pray. When glancing at a friend’s social media post. When I’m feeling anxious. When I hear a siren wailing nearby. When I’m relieved to have avoided a traffic accident. 

I wonder if this is at least some of what Jesus had in mind when He taught us to pray, “Hallowed be Thy name.” To me, praying the name seems to “hallow” it—set it apart as holy, sacred, powerful. At least I think it has that affect for me, even as it keeps my mind and heart turned toward my Rock, my Shield, my Shelter in the storm. 

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