It hits you as soon as you open your mail box — information overload! It’s everywhere. Not just your physical mail box, but especially your e-mail, Facebook, and…

Information overload is stressing you on your To Do List. It’s in cluttering your your closet and garage. It’s heating up your hand when you hold a remote control or a smart phone. It’s blaring in your ears when you walk in a store or maybe even when you try to worship in church.

The words are too many! The words are too loud!

Information overload is in our heads. Our thoughts dart here and there and all over the place — without taking root in our hearts or connecting us to Christ. We try to pray. But we get distracted. We tire of praying and so we give up too quickly. Our prayers seem like lots and lots of words.

Our words are too many! Our words aren’t the right ones!

We need The Word. And the Word is Jesus.

A Prayer Life or a Praying Life?

We need simple prayers of the heart that connect us with the Lord Jesus Christ and help us to stay connected to him as we do whatever we’re doing all day long. We need more than a prayer life — we need a praying life. We need to learn to, “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

One tool to learn better how to pray without ceasing is to Abide in Prayer, using simple prayers of the heart that come from especially powerful verses of the Bible. My Simplifying Prayers from the Bible help me to pray to the Lord simply and deeply from my heart — they help me go beyond a prayer life to a praying life.

Simple Prayers from the Psalms

Each of my Simple Prayers of the Heart are from the Psalms (NIV84) and work the same way. You offer the entire prayer s-l-o-w-l-y. Pause for a Selah… Resting quietly in God’s presence as you meditate on the last few words in the prayer. Then you keep repeating the prayer in the same way except that each time you drop off a few more words, simplifying the prayer, till you get down to the most simple prayer of the heart.

Simple prayer to the Lord — that’s what we’re after. It’s easy. “My yoke is easy,” Jesus promised. (Matthew 11:28-30). There is an Easy Yoke for you, but getting into the yoke is not easy! Learning simple prayer is not simple! But once you learn to set aside information overload, distracted thoughts, and a restless body then you find that simple prayer of the heart truly is easy and delightful! 

“Train yourself to be godly,” Paul taught us (1 Timothy 4:7). The idea behind simple praying is training yourself to pray with fewer and fewer words with more and more heart-connection to God. You’re seeking for the Word of God to sink deeply into your heart and stay there till it comes to reside in your body and your whole being. Then you have a better chance to carry that Godward (and God-Word!) demeanor into what you’re doing that day, especially if you memorize your simple prayer use it to shoot up arrow prayers as you go about your day.

Perhaps you can set aside a few minutes to try one of these Simple Prayers of the Heart right now…

Be Still

“Be still and know that I am God…

Be still and know that I am…

Be still and know…

Be still…

Be…”

(Psalm 46:10)

As you pray “Be Still” try picturing a still lake, beautiful meadow, or other peaceful nature scene. (See “Be Still as the Lake at Dawn” and “Be Still and Know Christ.”)

In Christ Alone

“In Christ alone my soul finds rest — Selah…

In Christ alone my soul — Selah…

In Christ alone — Selah…

In Christ — Selah…”

(Inspired by Psalm 62:1, 5)

Try the “In Christ Alonoe” prayer as a Breath Prayer, whispering or thinking the words as you breathe in and out, slowly and deeply. Breathe in, “In Christ alone my soul finds rest…” Breathe out, with a smile!, “Selah…” (See “In Christ Alone.”)

By the way, do you know the Identity in Christ Verses in the Bible?

To Jesus

“To you Jesus, my Lord, I lift up my soul…

To you Jesus, my Lord, I am lifted up…

To you Jesus, my Lord…

To you Jesus…”

(Inspired by Psalm 25:1)

You could use your hands to help you pray. (Like breathing a prayer this is another way to use your body to engage your mind and heart with God’s Word.) As you pray “To Jesus” slowly lift up your hands higher and higher in praise to the Lord alone.

My Soul Waits for the Lord

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. And in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman wait for the morning, more than watchman wait for the morning.” (Echo: “More than watchman… wait for the morning.”)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. And in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchman wait for the morning. (Echo: “More than watchman… wait for the morning.”)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. And in his word I put my hope. My soul waits for the Lord. (Echo: “My soul… waits for the Lord.”)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. And in his word I put my hope. (Echo: “In his word… I put my hope.”)

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits. (Echo: “I wait for the Lord… my soul waits.”)

(Psalm 130:4-5)

Linger awhile on the echo for each line, slowly repeating it a few times. You could do this as a Breath Prayer, breathing in as you pray the first half and breathing as you pray the second half.

With Jesus I Remember the Sabbath

With Jesus I remember the Sabbath because, “You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy at the words of your hands.”

With Jesus I remember the Sabbath because, “You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord; I sing for joy…”

With Jesus I remember the Sabbath because, “You make me glad by your deeds, O Lord…”

With Jesus I remember the Sabbath because, “You make me glad by your deeds…”

With Jesus I remember the Sabbath…

With Jesus…

(Psalm 92:4)

Try this prayer to help you begin a day of Sabbath rest.

Jesus is Enough for Me

“Jesus is enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in it’s mother’s arms — content…

Jesus is enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet like a child in it’s mother’s arms…

Jesus is enough for me to keep my soul tranquil and quiet…

Jesus is enough for me to keep my soul…

Jesus is enough for me…

Jesus is enough…

Jesus…”

(Inspired by Psalm 131:2)

As you pray “Jesus is Enough” it helps to recall the Gospel stories of Jesus blessing the children. (See “Jesus is Enough for Me.”)

Look to Jesus

“Look to Jesus and his strength; seek his face always…

Look to Jesus and his strength; seek his face…

Look to Jesus and his strength…

Look to Jesus…”

(Inspired by Psalm 105:4)

As you look to Jesus imagine him looking at you with a smile and offering his hand to encourage you.

Be at Rest

“Be at rest once more, O my soul — for Christ has been good to you all the time…

Be at rest once more — for Christ has been good to you…

Be a rest — for Christ is good…

Be — for Christ”

(Inspired by Psalm 1116:7)

Have you ever smiled a prayer? It’s powerful! As you pray “Be at Rest” try smiling to help you rejoice in the goodness of Christ!

For the Dark Night of the Soul

“The darkness is my closest friend — why, O Lord, do you hide your face from me?…

The darkness is my closest friend — why, O Lord, do you hide your face?…

The darkness is my closest friend — why, O Lord, do you hide?…

The darkness is my closest friend — why, O Lord?…

In the darkness is my closest friend…

In the darkness is Jesus…

Jesus…” 

(Inspired by Psalm 88:14, 18)

In the Dark Night of the Soul it’s hard to see the Lord. He is silent. His blessings are nowhere to be found. But Jesus is there with you, loving you. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18)

In the Morning

“In the morning Christ will come to me. He will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself. Selah…

In the morning Christ will come to me. He will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself…

In the morning Christ will come to me. He will redeem my life from the grave…

In the morning Christ will come to me…

In the morning Christ…

In the morning…”

(Inspired by Psalm 49:15)

As you pray “In the Morning” try imagining your own grave — death will come to you and you will have to let go of your physical life in this world. Into this scene overlay the empty tomb of Christ, the Easter sunrise, and the risen Christ appearing to take you into the heavens! You can also use this prayer to help you deny yourself and let go in a particular challenge.


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