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Do not babble like the pagans. (Matthew 6:7)

Sharon shared with her confessor that her prayer time wasn’t going well—it felt like she wasn’t really connecting with God. Her confessor responded with two words: “Talk less.” He advised Sharon to shorten her prayer time by a few minutes but focus her attention on praying more purposefully.

Making the effort to pray with fewer words can shake up our usual routine and just might breathe new life into our time with the Lord. Take the familiar Lord’s Prayer as an example. Instead of reciting the prayer quickly, you can try slowing down and praying it one word or phrase at a time. Linger over a short phrase; don’t even worry about getting through the entire prayer.

What follows are three phrases from the Lord’s Prayer. In each one, you might find something that resonates with you, something that sparks a memory or a feeling. Stop and dwell on that phrase or idea. Let the Holy Spirit unfold its meaning for you.

Our Father: you are a child of God. Perhaps God’s fatherhood calls to mind a father figure who had a positive impact on your life. Perhaps you think of a time that God gave you insight as you guided a younger person. Let the memory of that mentoring and support you experienced speak to you about God’s fatherhood.

Thy will be done: Your life isn’t random. God has a plan for you and wants you to say yes to him. You already know some elements of that plan for today, but others will take you by surprise. Either way, God will equip you to face every challenge hand in hand with him.

Deliver us from evil: There is evil, not only in the world crowding around you, but within your own heart. Don’t let it drag you down. Focus rather on Jesus, mighty enough to overcome evil in every form. Gaze at a crucifix, but also picture him bursting forth from the grave fully alive and victorious. Evil never has the last word.

This is just a starting point. There are endless riches to be found in every word of the Lord’s Prayer. So try talking less in prayer today and listening more.

“Thank you, Father, that you long for me to spend time with you!”

2 Corinthians 11:1-11
Psalm 111:1-4, 7-8











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