|Prayer group (Photo credit: KRHamm)|
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord,
my strength, and my redeemer.
Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
I almost feel embarrassed to admit this, but sometimes prayer puts me to sleep. Please bear with me while I explain.
Years ago I used to attend a prayer group on Wednesday nights. Those in attendance would sit in chairs formed in a circle and for an hour or maybe more we would each pray as we were moved to do. Personally I have never been able to sustain a prayer for very long. However there were a few prayer warriors in those meetings who could pray in a low monotone voice with what seemed after a while to be repeated prayer phrases.
These were good Godly people with the best intent who were faithful servants of the Lord. I would not want to think poorly of them, but their prayers did sometimes put me to sleep. They were hypnotic with their low tones and repetitive phrases. I know God heard these prayers, but I wonder if these prayers were not sometimes droned on for too long.
When the Bible tells us to "pray without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17) it's not telling us to literally vocalize prayers that go on and on. Instead we should remain in a prayerful attitude, always armed to use prayer in our spiritual battles and give thanks on a regular basis.
That's my take on prayer. I'm not saying that I'm absolutely right on this, but I'm saying that talking for a long time in a monotone voice can dull my mind and cause me to fall asleep. I don't like to call anyone's prayer babbling or meaningless utterances. Sometimes there are more words than are needed.
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
New International Version (NIV)