Q: I memorized a few simple prayers when I was a child, but now I’m facing some hard times and those prayers don’t seem to mean much. Will God be upset if I just tell him what’s going on in my life without using fancy words, like I was taught? — C.R.
A: Let me ask you a question: When your children first began to speak, did you demand they use formal, stilted language before you’d listen to them? No, of course not. The first time one of your children said “mommy” you were thrilled.
And that’s why you don’t need to worry about offending God with your simple, heartfelt prayers. God is your loving heavenly father, and he delights in the prayers of his children. When Jesus’ disciples asked him how they should pray, he told them to come to God as their heavenly father (Matthew 6:9). When we come to Christ and commit our lives to him, we become God’s dearly loved children, and he wants us to bring our every concern to him in prayer.
Yes, he is the sovereign God of the universe who is worthy of our highest respect and worship, and we must never approach him casually or thoughtlessly. But he also is the one who loves us so much that he came down from heaven in the person of his son, Jesus Christ, who gave his life for us. Have you responded to his love by giving your life to Jesus?
Thank God for his love for you. Then make prayer part of your life every day, in both good times and hard times. The Bible says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6).
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.