“Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter anything before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2, KJV).
Effectual prayers are not necessarily long prayers. Most believers have been made to believe that their prayer is less impactful when it is short. However, this is not true according to God’s word. Every prayer prayed that stemmed out of knowledge, faith and a sincere heart will always avail much. If a prayer offered in brevity meets this criterion, it will be powerful indeed!
The opening verse of scripture is clear on how to approach God in prayer. The writer admonishes that your words should be few when you are before God. Never be in haste to utter multitudinous words before God. The impact of your prayer is not in its length but in its content and the heart from which it stems. Before you speak to God in prayer, always know that He knows your heart (Luke 16:15). There are countless number of times in Scripture where men prayed short prayers and yet, received awesome and instant results. The Bible recounts a time in the ministration of Jesus when he had to feed a multitude of five thousand, excluding women and children, who were gathered unto him. After receiving the five loaves of bread and two fishes which were only available at that time, he looked up to heaven and blessed it. Scripture recounts, “And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.” (Matthew 14:19). This prayer, despite being short, produced one of the greatest miracles recounted in the Bible. The five loaves and just two fishes were multiplied enough to feed the multitude and there were even leftovers. “And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full. And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.” (Matthew 14:20-21).
Peter, at a time in his life, was faced with a lifethreatening incident. This was when he began to sink into the sea, after Jesus had asked him to walk on it. In desperation, he cried out to the Lord, “…Lord, save me…” Matthew 14:29-30 bears record, “And he said, come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” This was an urgent situation. There was no time to scream and pray for hours to be delivered. Wonderful enough, Scripture recounts that Jesus delivered him immediately! Jesus never delivers because you prayed to him for long. He delivers because your heart cried out to him! In Luke’s account on Jesus’ crucifixion, two thieves were hanged with him. One of these thieves believing on Jesus as the Saviour prayed a very simple prayer to him: “And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” (Luke 23:42). This was a prayer constituting of only nine words, yet, received an instant answer. “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Hallelujah! (Luke 23:43).
Always remember that every prayer prayed that stemmed out of knowledge, faith and a sincere heart will always avail much. The length and duration of the prayer does not matter as much as the heart it stems from and the knowledge on which it is based. Short prayers are very powerful. Pray at all times, with all manner of prayers, including short prayer. Live in this consciousness. Shalom!