Does God Hear Imperfect Prayers?

So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house. John 4:53

Over the years I have read long articles detailing the proper ways to pray. Not everyone agrees on what constitutes a proper prayer, and many of these rules of prayer seem tedious, and... well... impossible. Not having been raised in Christianity, or a praying home, this has always seemed a bit odd to me.

Speaking to each other is the verbal effect of enjoying a relationship. If the relationship is healthy then the verbal expression of it will be healthy too. Since grace is the foundation of our relationship with God, our prayer relationship is based in grace also. The weight of the maintenance of a grace based relationship is on the giver of grace, because that is where the strength of the relationship resides. Just talk to God respectfully from your heart, and He will take care of the imperfections. But always remember: without His mercy in Christ Jesus our prayers, at best, are offensive.

Many of us would never pray if it were not for our own aches, pains, and the burden of illness and grief in the lives of those we care about. Often we don’t even acknowledge God’s goodness, glory, or grace before we blurt out our need. When rebuked for our insolence we often simply blurt out our need again. This is what the nobleman, mentioned in the verse above, did: in V. 47 he made his plea, in V. 48 he was rebuked for the deficiency of his faith, in V. 49 he blurted out his need again without apology. Then Jesus did what the man prayed for him to do: He healed his son! Amazing!

This incident with the nobleman teaches us that the grace of God extends to us in spite of our selfish, imperfect praying. That's what grace does, it reaches past our imperfections. Truthfully, I have never prayed a perfect prayer, or, for that matter, done anything perfectly. But He has often graciously done what I have plead with Him to do. And I am grateful. But, I must be careful not to take his grace for granted.

My quest to know Him better is endless, so my prayer life changes with my quest. But I always know that if it wasn't for His grace I wouldn't have a prayer.


  1. My son preached a message last night on prayer being before a throne of grace that was quite encouraging. Your post reminded me much of what he said.

  2. Grace is a wonderful relationship. Glad to hear your son is preaching.



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