The more the words, the less the meaning!


What do you sense the Lord saying to you in this passage?

“And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans.” (Matthew 6:7)
Prayer is not a technique for getting God to do what we ask.
It is not the eloquence nor the abundance of words that impresses God.
And yet, you wouldn’t get that impression from Christians – or pastors – today.
Compare how simple Jesus’ prayers were, with how ‘wordy’ our prayers can be.
“The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?” (Ecclesiastes 6:11)
I lead prayer in church and sometimes find myself piling on the words – babbling.
Churchy words, extensive quotes from scripture, and run-on sentences.
The Lord does not need to be flattered or impressed or persuaded.
We don’t need to explain the whole situation to God, He already knows!
Sadly, I meet many people who won’t pray because they think they can’t.
What they mean is they can’t do it like they hear other Christians pray.
As a Jesus follower, I am free to speak plainly and simply to God and Jesus.
And I want to help others do this by modelling simple child-like prayer.
May we learn to pray like little children, simple and trusting, and not like those who babble.
Lord, the more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone? Teach me to pray like You, plainly and simply.


  1. Prayers.
    Talks with God.
    Whenever and wherever.
    Sharing because He is caring.
    Opening my heart in His presence telling Him of my needs/my desires for this world and my place in it – His presence; His guidance. His comforting hand.
    Laying it all before Him as a child talking to my Father.

    Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray;
    This is my heart-cry day unto day;
    I long to know Thy will and Thy way;
    Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray.
    Living in Thee, Lord, and Thou in me,
    Constant abiding, this is my plea;
    Grant me Thy power, boundless and free,
    Power with men and power with Thee.
    Power in prayer, Lord, power in prayer!
    Here ’mid earth’s sin and sorrow and care,
    Men lost and dying, souls in despair;
    O give me power, power in prayer!
    My weakened will, Lord, Thou canst renew;
    My sinful nature Thou canst subdue;
    Fill me just now with power anew;
    Power to pray and power to do!
    Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray;
    Thou art my pattern day unto day;
    Thou art my surety, now and for aye;
    Teach me to pray, Lord, teach me to pray.

  2. Prayer is not meant to be used as a way to get attention. Flowery and elaborate words are not necessary. God’s desire is that we pray to Him. He blesses us and knows what we need even before we ask. His attention on us is all we need!

  3. Prayer is intimate for me – it is in public prayers that I must ‘check’ myself – it is not a performance – it must be genuine – heart driven. So ‘show’ and ‘babbling’ are negatives – Lord keep me from them – as you know what I need – so help me keep public prayers short and to the point!

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