1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. NIV
When I mention one-word prayer to highly spiritual people, they look at me as if I am crazy. Now I might be crazy, but a one-word prayer is very powerful. God knows your desires. If you have lifted a prayer for a person or a problem before, you extend your original prayer and make it more powerful with a one-word prayer than no prayer at all.
I like one-word prayers because they can happen anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstance. Quick but effective.
A one-word prayer may be a follow-up to a first, longer prayer, or you may be so busy you don’t have time for a longer prayer. Either way, the Holy Spirit listens to your full concerns whether or not you express your prayers in one word or ten thousand.
Perhaps at this time in your life, you do not pray at all. One-word prayers are the best way to begin. I suggest you select five different worries dogging you today and immediately lift a one-word prayer for each. During the day, each time one of those worries breaks into your consciousness, repeat your one-word prayer for it.
Of course, many people want you to pray for longer, sometimes much longer, periods. There is a great advantage to that. Longer prayers primarily allow you to experience the presence of the Lord for longer periods and cover items important to your discipleship. I find, however, that most people are overwhelmed with their time commitments and rarely spend much if any, time in long prayer.
On a scale of 0 to 10 where 0 means no prayer, and 10 means constant prayer, a one-word prayer is a 5. What??!! Let me explain. Any sincere prayer, even a one-word prayer, is light-years ahead of no prayer. You can increase your length and focus of prayer in order to lift it to a level higher than 5, but a sincere, one-word prayer solidly places you on God’s communication list.
How should you do this? For example, if you have a concern about someone else, use their first name as your prayer. If it is about a school paper, just use the word paper. If it is a worry about yourself, use the word Help. God will hear and always be glad to receive a one-word prayer.
The most important part of any prayer is sincerity. In that second where you say a one-word prayer, be as sincere as you can while reaching out to God. He will recognize it.
What will it take for you to begin this kind of prayer? How about putting a notice on your phone that alerts you every hour or so? When the notice comes in, say the one-word prayer and then return to what you were doing. Give it a try. In fact, do this for a month. Make it a habit. It will bless you tremendously.