“When you call to me, I will respond”.
Isa 58:9 GNB
Richard Foster described calling on God as “Simple Prayer”. He said, “God receives us just as we are and accepts our prayers just as they are. In the same way that a small child cannot draw a bad picture so a child of God cannot offer a bad prayer. So we are brought to the most basic, the most primary form of prayer: Simple Prayer. Let me describe it for you. In Simple Prayer we bring ourselves before God just as we are, warts and all. Like children before a loving father, we open our hearts and make our requests. We do not try to sort things out, the good from the bad. We simply and unpretentiously share our concerns and make our petitions. We tell God, for example, how frustrated we are with the co-worker at the office or the neighbour down the road. We ask for food, favourable weather, and good health.
In a very real sense we are the focus of Simple Prayer. Our needs, our wants, our concerns dominate our prayer experience. Our prayers are shot through with plenty of pride, conceit, vanity, pretentiousness, haughtiness and general all-round egocentricity. No doubt there is also magnanimity, generosity, unselfishness and universal goodwill.
We make mistakes – lots of them; we sin, we fall down, often, but each time we get up and begin again. We pray again. We seek to follow God again. And again, our insolence and self-indulgence defeat us. Never mind. We confess and begin again … and again … and again. In fact, sometimes Simple Prayer is called the ‘Prayer of Beginning Again’” (R. Foster, Prayer, p9).
If you think you cannot pray, or that God never answers, engage in Simple Prayer.
Lord, enrich my prayers and make me more your child.