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The Fastest Pray-er In the [mid]West

My Grandpa Craig Massey was a pastor, conference speaker, counselor, and had a show on the radio where I always loved it when he said my name and I could hear that he loved me. My grandpa was loud. He was physically taller and commanded a presence when he walked in a room. You could not help but notice this man. He was also legally blind, so he had a tendency to plow through whatever was in his way. You had to be quick to be around him. Quick to answer, to hear, to jump to attention and to know your trivia (he was fascinated with Knowing Things). My brother and I spent weeks with my grandparents each summer and some of my best memories are of those days spent in northern Wisconsin. We had plenty of time to ramble through the woods, go out on the rowboat or read, but no matter what you were doing, if grandpa called your name, you better respond... and quickly.

i bet he's saying Your will be done, either that or boy, is my granddaughter amazing

I thought he was the best pray-er I knew growing up. Mainly because his prayers were short and sweet and we could get on with the day. The prayers were not done in a flippant manner, but more out of a belief and theology that it all comes down to praying God's will be done. I heard him speak in public often and he always started and ended with a sincere - but quick - prayer. But my favorite prayers to hear were those summer mealtimes when my grandfather bellowed:

"KIDS, DINNER! (no breath, immediately into prayer) LORD, WE PRAY YOUR WILL BE DONE, IN CHRIST'S NAME, AMEN"

Commence eating.

Finish in two minutes.

I found a recording of a message he did at Moody's Founder's Week back in the day, and here is his opening prayer - you'll understand what I mean when you hear it (play link below):

I loved my grandpa, and at the time, it was an encouragement to me to hear him, whom everybody seemed to know and want to talk to, be SOCLOSE to the Lord that he hardly paused because he knew he had God's attention too! KIDS! DINNER! LORD... seemed to be the way to begin prayer. He knew the Lord heard his prayer, and knew the Lord would respond and his spoken desire in all things was that the Lord's will be done.

up north, probably listening for grandpa

As I grew older, it slowly sunk in that all people did not pray this way. Which means I felt - and sometimes still feel - I was/am not particularly great at praying. Spend enough time getting older and you'll have a pile of prayers on each side of you: These were answered, these were unanswered, these were who-knows-what. You start to wonder which ones were your fault for messing up in some mysterious way. Spend enough time around Sunday School, Baptist High School, on church staff, at services, funerals and YouTube and you'll hear all sorts of opinions/thoughts/questions/heresies! on prayer. Prayers for healing, prayers for no rain/rain, prayers for unspoken requests (it was high school, we were dramatic and APPARENTLY THEY BROKE UP), prayers for what we want, want, want. Prayers for grace, forgiveness, lament. Verbose, odd, rambling, beautiful, tearful prayers.

So what is it? What is prayer? What is a good prayer? Is there one? How should we grow in prayer? Was my grandpa correct? Which is why my deep dive study this summer on here is on prayer. Prayer-ing. The doing of the prayer. The who, what, why of prayer. Maybe because I was all in on Grandpa's theology of short and sweet prayers, it's become a topic I love to read about, ask questions about, listen to others' opinions of, and grow in my own prayer-ing. Want to join me? We'll study the topic each Thursday (we'll call it Theology Thursday!). If you have questions you've always wondered about prayer, you can comment below, or send them to me privately at If you have links to sermons or books that particularly helped you on the topic of prayer, let me know.

The one takeaway I learned from Grandpa I'm sure of is that the Lord is right with us, which means no matter how quick your prayers are, He hears.


Psalm 66:19 "But truly God has listened; he has attended to the voice of my prayer."


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