Each child in our family has had their own progression when it comes to speech. Andrew began early and would whisper words before he would speak them out loud. He wanted mastery before he would use them in public. Alaina was a very clear communicator from the time she was about seven months old. She would speak with her eyes; but it took until she was two years old until she began using words- and when she finally decided to speak, she jumped right into sentences. Lucas is such a sunny little guy and dives in without fear or hesitation. He is nearly three and constantly adjusting his vocabulary to entertain his siblings and parents. Lydia is not yet interested in using words. But she does babble about what she sees. I figure eventually is will morph into something closer to English.
I too am learning to speak. I am learning to speak a new language; a language spoken between God and me. I am learning to pray more deeply. I am learning to listen to God. And I am excited.
There’s nothing quite like taking your communication with the Creator of the Universe to a whole new level!
So, what level was my communication on and how is that changing? I have grown up in a Christian church and house. When I was a little girl, I prayed and prayed that God would give me a sister. When my parents announced an impending child, I knew in my tiny three-year-old heart that he had answered my prayer. A few months later, my sister arrived! I also asked God to give me beautiful wavy hair. (I’m outside my comfort zone as I write this—I have never shared this with anyone before—because I knew even as I was asking as a young preteen, that it was an irreverent or inconsequential sort of thing to ask). However, that prayer was answered too.
I know God answers prayers. I know scripture teaches that. I also knew that there are things you are ‘supposed to’ pray about and then there are other things that you are ‘not supposed to pray about’. (praying for a sibling- good; praying for your own hair-ridiculous). I also learned, over the course of many years to set God aside. To pray about a decision and then do what I want or think is best. Though I have never strayed from Religion, I definitely lost that little girl faith along the way somewhere…
So… I want it back. God desires ‘faith like a child’ – so I do too.
God is now training me to speak His language of prayer. Here’s what that looks like for me: Number one: God has asked me to give up the notion that there are things too insignificant to bring to Him. I matter to Him. I am significant in His kingdom and I can bring anything before Him, no matter how insignificant I may think it is in the grand scheme of things. He asks for obedience in the small things (as well as the big life decisions) and that’s what I want to give Him. Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
Number Two: to pray out loud when I am alone. Yep, I’m a girl with a degree in theology, and training in Christian Education. I have no problem praying out loud with others present (For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them. Matt 18:20). But praying out loud to God alone has never been on my radar screen– until recently. Over the past few months, I have been convicted that there is power in the spoken word. So I am beginning to pray out loud – alone.
Number three: Prayer can be transformational as we become more self-aware and as the Spirit teaches us to pray using even things other than words. In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the [a]saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26- 27 NASB. I am trying to become more open, more humble before our Heavenly Father, Loving Creator; if that means praying through song or groans or whatever, then count me in.
Number Four: Dialogue. God is revealing how to listen to Him through His Word and through the guidance of the Holy Spirit. So often in my life I have asked and asked and asked without waiting for an answer. It is time to make time to listen.
I will meditate on all Your work
And muse on Your deeds. Psalm 77:12
This happens as I learn to quiet my heart and life; carving out time for reading scripture and meditating on His word.
So these things are how God is teaching me a new language. And just like my children, learning to speak, each of us goes at his/her own pace and has a unique path. This journey is about seeing my relationship with God differently and altering my priorities. Perhaps God is inviting you to go deeper to—please share your story. If you have questions for me, I’m open to a conversation!
In the name of the God- Father, Son and Holy Spirit;