I was small, so small that the back of the pew was almost as tall as I was. It was a humble church of worn wooden pews, frayed hymnbooks and good people as solid as the mountain beneath their feet.
“Let us pray…”
A cacophony of voices rose, all at once, loud and strong, a fearsome sound like the drone of a thousand bumble bees. I pressed my small hands against my ears to muffle the noise and wondered how God could understand so many hearts at once.
I have spent many years since learning to pray. My practice began with “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep” and “God is Great, God is Good” and grew into an ocean of words poured out before the throne of The Great King.
But as I have grown older, I have increasingly found my prayers are quiet exchanges of the soul. It is painful for me to admit, but I am discovering my ocean of words to be self-indulgent, a grandiose distraction from the still, small voice of the Holy One.
Let’s be honest…I have spent a lot of time in prayer telling God what to do (as if I know!). More and more, as I kneel in his presence, I am discovering the truth- I can’t possibly know how to direct The Holy when I don’t even fully understand my own heart.
And so, there is less treating God like a Divine vending machine and more…
“May your kingdom come,
May your will be done…”
There is less arguing, more surrender. There is silence, worship, and tender intimacy as I rest in the assurance of his great love.
I don’t presume to be an authority on prayer. I am simply a pilgrim on a journey, a child awaiting the return of her Father. I am a seeker of The Lover of My Soul, and I am finding he is most readily found in silence.
And so, I remember the words of Ecclesiastes 5:2-
“God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.”