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May 26, 2013

In case you thought long, flowery prayers are what God expects, read I Kings 17:20-22.  The widow that Elijah had been staying with (see I Kings 17:7-16) had a son who had become sick, his condition worsened, and then the young man died.  The widow lashed out at Elijah.  He asked her to give him her son, and he carried him up to his sleeping quarters.  Verses 20-21 say, “Then he prayed to the Lord: “Lord my God, this widow is letting me stay in her house. Why have you done this terrible thing to her and caused her son to die?21 Then Elijah lay on top of the boy three times. He prayed to the Lord, “Lord my God, let this boy live again!” *  What is described in verse 21 may not be what we would do in the 21st century, but for whatever reason, Elijah did.  What I see is the simplicity of his prayer.  Only three sentences are recorded.  He may have repeated each sentence each time he stretched himself out over the boy; he may not have.  he may have cried out the last request each time.  None of the versions I read clarified that.  What is important is that God hears the simple prayers.  Here are the next two verses:

22 The Lord answered Elijah’s prayer; the boy began breathing again and was alive. 23 Elijah carried the boy downstairs and gave him to his mother and said, “See!  Your son is alive!”

God both heard and answered the simple prayer.  I remember hearing a young man as he asked the Lord to come into his life, “…I want to hitch a ride on Your train…”.  It was simple, and it worked.  The One in charge of the universe heard and answered that request.  Two things come to mind as I think about how we should pray.  Pour your heart out to Him;  KISS:  Keep It Simple, Sweetie.

*(New Century Version.)

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