I wonder at what age we suddenly begin to think that our prayers have to sound holy. “Heavenly Father, we beseech thee on our knees with our heads bowed in reverence. We humbly request…”
Have you ever heard a child pray? It’s wonderfully simple. Straight to the point about seemingly inconsequential and serious matters alike. “Jesus help me find my red Jackson car.” Followed in the next breath by “Jesus heal my Mom… She’s sick.” Both said with equal assurance that Jesus cares and will answer.
Children are trusting, more so than adults. When they pray for healing they expect healing.
How did we lose that faith? Better yet, how can we find it again?
I’ve been through several dark seasons in my life. For many nights, I’ve laid awake in bed alternately pouring out my heart to God, or silently staring into the darkness because there were no words to convey the weight of the emotions and questions that would leech out in the dead of night.
On those nights I’d see Jesus’s name in my mind. It was always in this weird font, like if the band Metallica was instead named Jesus. Anyway, I’d trace the name over and over on the bed sheets with my index finger. Wordlessly tracing his name in my desperation for him to come and help me get through one more night.
I like to think that each time I spelled out his name it was etched onto my heart. My heart’s walls are covered with tiny Metallica-font JESUSes. A million times he’s heard my prayers silent, written, traced, and spoken. Every one, cataloged and acted upon. Each one as meaningful to him as if I’d spent a thousand words eloquently expounding on my problems and desires.
It was on a night such as this when I began to call these one-word-prayers. Jesus. Help. Come. Thanks.
Groaning In Our Spirit
I love Romans 8:26. It says “Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
Our job is easy then. Place ourselves at the feet of Jesus and groan in our spirit. He knows the rest. He’s on the case and is working, praying, fighting, winning on our behalf. Especially when it seems like nothing is happening and we are surely invisible to him.
All those nights I felt alone, I wasn’t. He was laying on the bed next to me. Tracing my name on the bed sheets. “Hold on,” I imagine him whispering. “I’m here. I hear you.”
If you find yourself in the darkest night. Trace out his name if you can’t seem to speak it. He’s there, he’s listening. He doesn’t need flashy prayers. All you need to do is bring your heart to him and whisper, “Jesus.”
One word says it all. He will do the rest.
One day you will see how that timidly whispered word launched an army on your behalf.
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