Never Just Say a Quick Prayer

I cringe whenever someone says, “Let’s just say a quick prayer.”

Prayer is holy communication with the Almighty. It is a hallowed honor that we, as mere human beings, are granted the privilege to experience with the Divine. I’ve never comprehended why God bothers to listen to us or why he cares about what’s troubling us. Why does the Creator condescend to the created?

Yet he does.

He wants to hear from us, but not just to ask for things. We can thank him too; we can praise him – even though we often forget.

Prayer is such a sacred act. It’s bad enough when we forget to check in with God or take our communion of words with him for granted. But I think it grieves him even more when we minimize the solemn act of prayer by preceding it with “just.” To “just pray,” trivializes prayer. We need to stop it and treat prayer as serious business.

Equally appalling is when we suggest saying a “quick prayer.” Yes, there are times that warrant short prayers, such as when an out of control car careens our way or when we don’t know what to say in a volatile situation. We can also breathe our praise for a beautiful sunset, a kindness experienced, or God’s provision for another day.

However, a “quick prayer” generally dishonors God. It implies we don’t have time for him or feel obliged to squeeze in some obligatory words before doing something we think is more important. What could be more important than connecting with God? Surely, a “quick prayer” distresses him.

Yes, I have said, “Let’s just say a quick prayer,” and I hope to never say it again. God expects better and deserves more.

2 thoughts on “Never Just Say a Quick Prayer

  1. Peter,

    I rarely disagree with you, but I must be very guilty of this because it really hits home. I am praying all day long, and surely, it is not irreverent or, at least, is never meant to be.

    Doesn’t the Word tell us to pray without ceasing? We surely can not be irreverent when praying for a moment when we immediately think of someone. Am I not to pray at the very thought of you? I do, actually when I read your blog.

    While I would like to think I have a prayer closet, it is more like a wardrobe. Would – that I’d have the luxury of kneeling down in privacy, but alas, not during our “resort season”. We pray for the guests coming in and going out and it is 100s of people! The staff are many. And yes, for ourselves – for patience and endurance, constantly.

    So in conclusion, I’d say, sometimes the Spirit moves me to say a quick prayer over the phone or as I hug a resort guest goodbye. It may be someone who is not be used to having a prayer said aloud with them. I cannot but think God is smiling on that, hearing it, answering and approving. God does deserve my attention. Not for just a minute, but all day and all night, coming in and going out. I will give try to Him my best no matter the circumstances.

    • Thanks for taking time to leave such a considered response. I am honored.

      I’m not against short or quick prayers. I think they’re often warranted, and I say them throughout the day (while still falling short of the goal to pray without ceasing.)

      What I think dishonors God is the minister or a meeting leader who publicly says, “Let’s just say a quick prayer” not because they want to pray, but because they feel they’re supposed to before they do something else. It’s as if they’re trying to squeeze in an obligatory prayer in before they do something they think if more important. Prayer should be the more important thing; then they can do the other item if there’s any time left!

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