Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Use your words

Our two-year-old grandson is quite verbal, but at times, his communication diminishes to actions and mere noises.  When there is a shift in his behavior or demeanor, he will either tell me what he would like or needs, or he will resort to whining or actions that tell me, like Miss Clavel in the book Madeleine, "something is not right."  With a two-year-old, sometimes it is hard for me to know what is the problem and what is an appropriate solution.  Does he want to play?  Does he need a snack to carry him over to supper? Does he just need a little quiet time in my lap with a stack of books to read outloud?

The dilemma is usually solved by telling him, "Use your words."  That phrase is not so much for my own information as it is for him to identify and realize what the problem is and how to approach it.  Even at that age.  Instead of yelling or crying or throwing toys on the floor, just tell me.  I will help you with it.

God asks the same of us,  "Use your words."

That is why God invented prayer.

"Talk to Me.  Listen for Me.  I will help you with it."

It is not just that God will show me what to do, how to respond, how to navigate this situation, how to pray about it, or even how to pray, but to pray.

Use your words.  Not the scripted words of another person, but the cries of your own heart to a God who loves you more than you can know.

Praying is an ongoing conversation, a deepening relationship.  And through it, God guides my heart not just to what is really the problem, but what is really the opportunity, He realigns my vision to see and identify not just my own troubling need, but a sensitivity and love for those He places on my path everyday and the grace and wisdom to respond. Praying does not just sharpen my awareness of what is around me;  it increases my trust in Him.  I can depend on Him.

"...prayer cannot be fruitless," Andrew Murray wrote in his classic With Christ in the School of Prayer, published in 1895, "its blessing will show itself in our life."

It is not whether or not that God will answer, but how.

"...prayer will never go unblessed," Murray states.

Use your words.

Have no anxiety about anything,
but in everything
by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which passes all understanding,
will keep your hearts
and your minds in Christ Jesus.

               Philippians 4. 6-7

teach us to pray...

            Luke 11. 1

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