The Power of Short Prayers

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By Melissa McLaughlin

A Powerful Prayer in Song

I woke that morning to a surprise from God. Just as my eyes opened a praise song popped into my head.

Blessed be the name of the Lord ~by Don Moen

I hadn’t heard this song in years. The music and lyrics echoed in my heart for at least an hour. I felt God’s presence and love in a fresh way. This short song, inspired by Psalm 113:2, became my morning prayer.

I reflected on the power of this short Scripture prayer in song.

Short Prayers in the Bible

Looking back through the Bible, we find many short prayers of great value.

Jesus taught us a model prayer, also known as The Lord’s Prayer, found in Matthew 6:9-13. Though only a few lines, this prayer is profound and powerful.

Long Prayers in the Bible

Lengthy periods of prayer have their place, too. Scripture tells us Jesus often slipped away to pray, sometimes praying through the night. (Luke 6:12)

Have you ever spent long hours in prayer? I find the Psalms articulate my feelings and extend my prayers in a meaningful way.

Jesus Warns Against Empty Prayers

Jesus warned, however, against lengthy prayers that puff up. In this passage, Jesus commended the offering of a short, humble prayer by a penitent sinner.

Luke 18:13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’

Powerful Short Prayers By Jesus

Two of the most powerful prayers ever uttered came from Jesus. And they were short.

Your will be done.

The first was in the Garden of Gethsemane as Jesus looked ahead to the cross.

Luke 22:42 – “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”

Father, forgive them.

In the second, Jesus prayed as He was crucified. With blood flowing, Jesus lifted His merciful heart to the Father in prayer.

Luke 23:34 – “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.

The Power of Short Prayers

I often start my day with a few short prayers. What a sweet blessing when they get stuck in my head and keep me connected to God all day long.

  • Father, I love you.
  • Jesus, I love you.
  • Holy Spirit, I love you.
  • Thank you, Father.
  • Thank you, Jesus.
  • Thank you, Holy Spirit.

When I feel overwhelmed, this Scripture prayer helps anchor my soul, despite what my eyes may see. I look to Jesus, repeat this to the Lord, and remind myself what is true. Over and over again.

  • Lord, you are good and your mercy endures forever. (Psalm 100:5)

Simple praise songs are a powerful prayer tool. They help me carry a prayer in my heart throughout the day.

  • Father, I adore you,
  • Lay my life before you,
  • How I love you.

While preparing this article on the power of short prayers, I read a post by a fellow Christian on Twitter, Fred~Eternity Planner (used with permission):

  • “Summary of most my prayers for me:
  • Thank you, thank you!
  • Forgive me, forgive me!
  • Help me, help me!”

Prayer is Connecting with God

As disciples of Christ, we desire to grow our prayer life. To do this, we yearn to spend more and more time in prayer, for here we connect with our heavenly Father. We rest with Him, we sit at the feet of our Savior, and we are filled afresh with His Spirit. Our relationship with God is our most important relationship. Just as we desire in-depth discussions with our loved ones, so we crave meaningful communion with our Heavenly Father.

Therefore, sometimes our prayers will be lengthy. Perhaps we are praying aloud through the Psalms, or gathered with other believers pouring out our hearts in extended prayer time. Perhaps we are praying through a set of worship songs. These prayers take time and God is worthy of our time.

However, simple prayers from the heart are powerful, too. God takes our small things and multiplies them for His glory. So, let’s not discount the power of short prayers.

Knowing God Through Prayer

Short or long, let’s press in to know the Lord through prayer.

As we anticipate the return of our Savior, the Bible sums up our heart’s cry with this short prayer.

Revelation 20:22 – Come, Lord Jesus!

Do you have a short prayer to share? What helps you stay connected with God throughout the day?

Other posts you might enjoy:

Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer – 3 Parables by Melissa McLaughlin

How Did Jesus Pray? The Model Prayer by Melissa McLaughlin

3 Prayers of Hope by Melissa McLaughlin

16 thoughts on “The Power of Short Prayers”

    • So beautifully spoken, Melissa! God is not interested in the amount or size of the words we use in prayer. He longs for our hearts, to talk, listen, share time and conversation. What a privilege! The God of the universe is interested in what I have to say!

  1. I love praying and do that a lot everyday and I’m also an intercessor for the Lord, that is one things He set me to do. Whether the prayers are long or short, He both listens and answers every time. I love praying to Him through worship, usually I use the albums I got on Spotify but also sing through the day and make up my own worship songs. Many times at morning prayer, all of a sudden I begin to sing worship songs I haven’t thought about in a long time. It is the Holy Spirit’s doing. Thank you Father, Jesus and Holy Spirit.

  2. Melissa, what a fresh word. I love how you described short prayers using Jesus as the example of short prayers that He prayed. And examples of praise and adoration short prayers we can pray. They’re so simple, yet so powerful. I remember the Don Moen song very well. This is so great, I’m going to print it out to refer back to it.

    • Thank you for the encouraging words, Karen. Glory to God! That sweet little Don Moen praise song came out of nowhere and stuck with me. Sometimes the short prayers to say through the day, keep me connected to God while I’m shopping or driving. I pray the Lord will send you a Scripture song to sing and pray today. God bless you, Karen!

  3. It helps me to say “God, Look on” this person or that person…to pray for someone when I don’t know how to pray. Often I’ll put their name in my prayer closet and leave it there.

    • Mari, thank you for reading and sharing. That is a wonderful prayer strategy. Such a simple way to pray God’s blessing and care over someone else. We don’t always know their deepest needs, but God knows. Thank you!

  4. This resonates deeply! I find my most heartfelt prayers are the simplest, for they are the cries of my soul. We are blessed to be able to pray to our God and know He hears us always!

  5. This is such an encouraging post! You’ve brought together so many key ideas for praying rightly, and you’ve given us some models of what that looks like, making this post feel like a body of us gathered together, celebrating the Lord, loving the Lord, and crying out to Him for any and all types of need.

    • God is so good! Thank you for stopping by to read and share your reflections, Melinda. What a blessing to imagine gathering together, celebrating the Lord, loving and crying out to Him for any and all types of needs. God loves us, let us run to meet with Him in prayer. God bless you!

  6. I have used short prayers like the ones you mentioned, throughout my day. They help keep me focused on God. Longer, deeper prayers are important part of the start and end of my day. Thank you for your great example’s Melissa b


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