I pray. I’ve always prayed. In fact, I tend to have a running conversation with God in my head throughout each day, and it has been good.
Sometimes I find that as I pray, words are coming out of my mouth that are for my benefit… words and thoughts that just come of their own accord. And I know these words are of God and they teach me.
However, in recent weeks I have learned something new about prayer… and about my prayer life. There is a new song by 7th Time Down called ‘Just Say Jesus’, that says:
Life gets tough and times get hard
And it’s hard to find the truth in all the lies
If you’re tired of wondering why
Your heart isn’t healing
And nothing feels like home
Cause you’re lost and alone
Just screaming at the sky
When you don’t know what to say
Just say Jesus
The name of Jesus
If the words won’t come
Cause you’re afraid to pray
Just say Jesus
Whisper it now or shout it out
However it comes out
He hears your cry
Out of nowhere he will come
You got to believe in it
He will rescue you
Just call out to the way
The truth, the life
In recent weeks, I have found myself in a place where that’s the only thing that could come out of my mouth… ‘Jesus’ … I would whisper the name, scream the name, repeat the name. And I now understand that God put me in that place because He wanted me to finally, really listen… as if saying, ‘Pammy, would you please just listen to me!! Would you please just be still and KNOW that I am God’. I settled down and today I can see that my prayer life has been a lot of talk and not a lot of listening. It’s one thing to know that, in order to hear God, you really must be still, and yet another one to actually be still and listen. Since I didn’t seem to have what it took to be still… God stilled me himself, through circumstances in my life. All for my good!
I love the quote by John Bunyun, ‘In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.’ That’s where God took me… to a place where I realized that my blathering words, begging for this or for that, just were not what I needed. I wasn’t going anywhere in my relationship with God… it was becoming stagnant. That’s not to say God did not hear my words or that He doesn’t love to hear my words, it’s just that the communication was a little too one-sided. He wanted me to be quiet, to listen… because only HE knows what is best for me, and where I needed to venture next in our relationship.
And, so, I really began to listen… frankly, because I could do little else…
In the turmoil of fiery fires, I paused to whisper His name… and it never failed… He showed up to help me, to tell me what to do! I sometimes thought I couldn’t take another moment, and He would tell me to take a drive and He’d showed me something beautiful along the way, calming my heart. He’d tell me to get out and exercise, which steps to take in my career, to write a blog, or to spend time with my precious grandson. And the blessings were and are innumerable!!
Soren Kierkegaard said this about prayer, ‘The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.’ I like the sentiment in his words… that I am being and will be changed by prayer. I already see so many changes in my life and how I view life. God has given me strength beyond anything I dreamed I could muster. He has provided ‘a peace that passes all understanding.’ He has healed me of wounds that date back to childhood and He has finally made what I already knew into absolute TRUTH in my heart…
… the truth that He wants the very best for me!!
… even if it’s beyond difficult…
… even if it involves pain and uncertainty.
… even if I’d really rather learn it all in an easier fashion.
Despite the hardships of life … the disappointments … the trials … by listening to the words of God and actually hearing His love pour down over your soul from the heavens and the flutter of angel’s wings around your head… NOTHING is too difficult … and absolute beauty can be born from the ashes.
The name of Jesus is POWERFUL…
… Just say ‘Jesus’.