Have you ever eaten at Cheesecake Factory? If you haven’t let me prep you: the food will be amazing, the cheesecake will blow your mind, and the menu will exhaust you. The menu is 20+ pages and has 250+ items. By the time I order, I’m so exhausted, I feel like I should take a nap before my food comes!

I recently visited a pie shop that was on the opposite end of the spectrum. They had six items on their menu: three savory pies and three dessert pies. That’s it. Pretty straightforward (and amazing, by the way).

We tend to over complicate things. It seems that’s just kind of how we function. 

Food isn’t the only thing we over complicate. We do the same with our spiritual disciplines, namely prayer. For many of us, our prayer lives aren’t suffering due to a lack of desire, but because we’ve so over complicated prayer that we’ve suffocated it.

We’re not the only generation with this problem; Jesus was talking about the issue too, all the way back in Matthew 6. Speaking to His disciples, He talked about people’s tendency to pray for the wrong reasons (to be seen by men) and in the wrong way (long, wordy, and empty).

Let’s go back to the basics with prayer.

When you boil it down, prayer is simply a communication tool designed to humble us, remind us of our need for God, and align our hearts with His. That’s it. Don’t over complicate it. Here’s how The Message words Jesus’ instructions on prayer:

“Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.”

Matthew 6:6 (The Message)

Start small if you have to, but make sure to start! God listens and responds when we pray, so let’s pray consistently and faithfully.

K E V I N • M I L L E R

Feel free to  to pass this on to someone who could use some encouragement!

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