THOUGHTS ON PRAYER

And Moses said unto the Lord, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou has spoken unto thy servant but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the Lord said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? Or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Have not I the Lord? Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
Exodus 4:10-12

Who me? Yes, you. This was the essence of the exchange between God and Moses when they met at the burning bush. Moses was a most reluctant leader. He could not see himself as a spokesperson for God let alone a leader for the Hebrews to follow out of Egypt. Moses thought himself to be a weak speaker with no eloquence. But God reminded Moses that He provides the words that come out of Moses’ mouth. Or anyone’s mouth. Moses was to offer his obedience and speak the words God put in his mouth. This was all. The Holy Spirit was inside of Moses to work through him to fulfill God’s plan. Moses followed the Spirit and this is how he could speak and lead. The same Holy Spirit is here today to work through us to fulfill God’s plans. One of the paramount ways the Holy Spirit works in us is through prayer.

Jesus said the Holy Spirit is with believers to comfort, counsel, and guide. Prayer is a way for the Holy Spirit to move us to be close to God, build up the Church, and fortify God’s people. Prayer is to be a familiar act for a believer in Jesus for it fosters fellowship. When someone approaches prayer and thinks he/she is ill-equipped and unskillful with words to talk to God, then it is good to remember that God gives the words via the Holy Spirit. God listens for the heart in our words, not necessarily the string of words we use. When we read the word of the prophet Isaiah, he drips with fluid and compelling speech yet when Isaiah realized Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips and I live among a people of unclean lips, Isaiah was filled with same humility inside of Moses. Humility is a hallmark of Jesus’ character and it moves the heart of God to listen to us and to respond when we resemble His Son Jesus.

To pray is to talk to God and to listen to God. It is a conversation. When I was in college and studied communications, I was taught that 2/3’s of effective communication is listening. To hear clearly one must listen intently. Often we come to prayer to thank God, make requests of Him, and tell Him what is going on in our lives—good things and challenging things. He wants us to come to Him and talk to Him. He also wants us to be silent so He can speak to us. What He says to you will differ from what He says to me because the faith walks of each person differ. He tells each one of us what He would have us to know. Prayer time builds trust, faith, and intimacy. The deeper we go in relationship with God through prayer, the more we hear His heart and see His hand moving in our lives, and in all of life.

We may think we are like Moses and do not have eloquent words to offer. Or, we may possess a skilled tongue like Isaiah. Either way, God is the one who puts the words in the mouth. But when our words line up with a heart that desires to talk to God and to do that which His Spirit guides us to speak and do, we bless God. We glorify Him. We honor Him. What does He do? He blesses us. He smiles and gives us the grace to make us more into the image of His Son, Jesus. Our prayers, spoken in the silence of our hearts when we are alone, before family, friends, and even strangers, are times that build faith and bring us closer to God. The next time we wonder about our prayers being heard or performing a task in the Lord’s service, we are wise to remember the Holy Spirit is with us to help us. When we say Who me? God says, Yes, you.

Lord God, You reveal to us repeatedly throughout the Bible the importance You place on prayer. Help us, Holy Spirit, to develop a deeper prayer life that will enrich our personal faith walks and foster stronger cohesion among all the saints. May Your heart be blessed and Your plans for our lives be fulfilled as prayers are prayed and answered in the Name of Your Beloved Son, Jesus, our risen and returning Christ, Amen.

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