The song, written by a friend years ago, its tune rolling around in my head. The words mixed up, remembering some and drawing a blank on others, much like mama’s word salad. I remember singing it, the small ensemble of voices at church. It’s title self-descriptive: Simple Prayer.
“This is a simple prayer, from the depths of my heart, Lord teach me to be kind…….(humming) teach me to honest about the things I try to hide….and teach me to….??? and let your spirit be my guide…..(more humming)…Lord, teach me to be true.”
(The humming where I can’t recall the words. Surely I’ve missed the best parts. Like many of my prayers, perhaps.)
It was a simple request for a simple prayer that has settled in my heart lately. Going into our prayer time last week Henry asked the men if any had a prayer request. A new man, young, said, “Pray for my wife and child.” That’s all. A few words. Simple. It struck my heart. Does he believe? I don’t know. Maybe he doesn’t know yet. But he knows prayer can’t hurt. He’s in a Salvation Army. Not a sign of the success he’s achieved. He needs. He needs God to hear his prayer for his wife and child. His plea has echoed in my mind. A simple prayer from his heart.
I grew up hearing people pray using different voices and words not ordinarily used. It was like they suddenly started talking like the King James bible: “We come before Thee…..In Thy precious Name…” It was too much for this tongue-tied little girl but I understood. This was what some did. Especially the older ones 🙂
We’ve talked about how to pray. With the men. They feel it’s too difficult to know the right words. But some of the most beautiful prayers I’ve heard are the simplest. It’s the heart. When the heart cries to God, in need or in praise, the words transcend. His word tells us the very Spirit of God speaks on our behalf. The simple words, the lack of words, our tears and sobs are carried by His Spirit to the heart of God. I don’t know how. I just believe.
I believe in the simple prayers. I believe in God.