The world is in great need of God’s children to pray and bring heaven to the earth. Author Richard Foster posits that the key to the heart of God is prayer. Prayer is our response to the overwhelming love of God and springs from the act of falling in love with God. Love is the syntax of prayer. Foster has subdivided prayer into twenty-one categories and spends a full chapter exploring each type in his book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home.
The first type of prayer that Foster explores is Simple Prayer. Simple prayer focuses on ordinary people coming to God just as they are, with their ordinary concerns. Simple Prayer is the most common form of prayer in the bible. It is the most common because it begins the conversation with God right where we are. We come as children come to their parents and are received in the same manner by Father God. Foster explains, “Like children before a loving father, we open our hearts and make our requests. We do not try to sort things out, the good from the bad. We simply and unpretentiously share our concerns and make our petitions.” (p.9). Our needs, our wants, our desires, and our concerns are the focus of Simple Prayer. Simple Prayer can be self-serving and self-centered, but it is essential to a growing spiritual maturity. We cannot conquer our self-serving nature in prayer by pretending it does not matter to us but, to begin with, our needs and push beyond them to more noble petitions. We begin where we are and move onward and upward to greater and more Kingdom-oriented desires. Simple prayer is simply a conversation between you and God, sharing what is on your heart and listening for what is on God’s heart. Love is the only prerequisite for developing a relationship with God through prayer. The old adage applies to prayer that practice makes perfect. It is a progression from faith to faith in the spiritual life. Foster states, “The desert mothers and fathers spoke of the sin of ‘spiritual greed,’ that is, wanting more of God than can be properly digested.” (p.13). We can rest from prayer even as we rest in the peace of God having a bit more than enough and enough to share. Simple prayer leads to a transformation Foster explains, “We pass from thinking of God as part of our life to the realization that we are part of his life. Wondrously and mysteriously God moves from the periphery of our prayer experience to the center.” (p.15).
Start a conversation with God today and allow him to speak to you and show you how to bring his divine power and presence through you to change your world.
Foster, Richard J., Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home. New York: Harper Collins, 1992.