The first believers preached a simple message of Jesus’ resurrection, which compelled literally thousands of people to experience new life.
A new Christian, longing to pray for her family, kept repeating, “I am just crying out for them to know Jesus!” I was struck by the passion and simplicity of her prayer. Immediately, I wanted to launch into exhaustive teaching on praying for the lost. Then God advised me in a way I had heard before, in business marketing: “Keep it simple, Stacy.”
Later, I was teaching about the Holy Spirit to some Maasai (indigenous African) students when simplicity of message again was shown to me. Ananias, ministering to Saul, simply said, “Be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 9:17, NKJV). Ananias’ prayer was not eloquent. He just made a simple proclamation.
Think of Jesus’ prayers as He interacted with diverse groups of people:
- “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” (Luke 13:12, NLT)
- “Be clean!” (Matt. 8:3, NIV)
- “Be gone, Satan!” (Matt. 4:10, ESV)
- “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8, NKJV)
- “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (Mark 5:41)
There was nothing impressive about the words Jesus prayed. His model of simple prayer compels me to rethink how I engage those around me as well as how I instruct them.
Can the “simplicity” principle be just as effective in prayer as it is in marketing? If Jesus said only what He heard the Father say (John 12:49), shouldn’t we be asking, “Father, what are You speaking over this situation?” and praying those words? Let’s shrug off overcomplication and persuasive speech, and cling to the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let’s keep it simple, saints!
Prayer + Reflection
- Are you overcomplicating things and in turn leading people astray from the “simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3)? How can you model simplicity as Jesus did?
- Read 1 Cor 2:1-5. Ask God for the words to pray so that the Holy Spirit’s power will be demonstrated. Ask Him to remove any unwise or persuasive words you might add.
- What is the Father saying directly over you today? Spend several minutes silently inviting Him to speak over you in any situation troubling your heart.
- Let’s continue to lift up teachers, students and parents navigating a new school year during the COVID-19 pandemic. Pray for supernatural protection, health, wisdom and grace for everyone.
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