I struggle with prayer sometimes.  I don't think I'm alone in this.  I have an inner critic that constantly tells me I'm not praying authentically enough, or I'm praying selfishly and that's "bad"...I have so many rules for myself.  Rules that Jesus tells us He has come to free us from.

I often feel that I have to say the "right" words or God won't hear me.  Or pray with the right motivation in my heart so I'll be found "worthy."  

But these rules that I place on myself are exhausting, and quite honestly, ridiculous.  So when I remember that I don't have to have eloquent words and perfect motivations, I find myself praying with few words and simple desires.  Here's a sample:

1.  "Jesus, I want you.  I don't know what else to say."  
About as simple as you can get, this expresses my true heart.  I want Jesus, and I don't have to say marvelous things to have Him.  Coming to Him honestly and hungrily is about all I know how to do.

2. "Holy Spirit, if anything good or holy is going to happen in me, it's ALL up to You, cause I got nothin'."
This is what I prayed during a particularly exhausting season of life, where the Lord brought me to a place of true surrender.  It was probably the most powerful thing that's ever happened to me, outside of salvation.

3. "Oh, God, here I go again."
This is a short prayer of repentance; it's what I pray when I find myself in the same old sin patterns that never fully leave me, or when I'm wearing the mask and doing the dance that I do to make life work for me.

4.  "Jesus, hold my soul together."
I find myself uttering this prayer when I feel like I'm falling apart, or when I am trying to hold my own soul together with food or shopping.  It's a simple, honest prayer for help.

5.  "Thank you, Jesus.  You're so good. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you."  
When my heart is full and bursting with gratitude, I find these words pealing, almost unbidden, out of the depths of my soul, over, and over, and over.  He's so good.  So, so, so good.  My heart revels His goodness.

There's nothing eloquent or fancy about any of these prayers.  When I strip myself of the expectations and rules I place on my prayers that only serve to turn my relationship with God into a performance, I am sent running back to these simple, heartfelt utterances to my God. 

Please use them as your own, if you wish. 

I'd love to hear the prayers are meaningful to you!  Send me a message or comment on Facebook.