Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Whispered Prayer

Here's my newest article for the Southern Sentinel

A Whispered Prayer

My daughter has recently learned to say the blessing. We’ve always said one before we have eaten together. That’s how I grew up. My dad would always say a prayer over the meal before we would eat. It’s all I know. So, as I now have my own family, I took to saying the blessing when we would sit down to eat. Plus, I’m a preacher, and that’s what preachers do. I always joke that during this time of year when we sit down to different meals with different families, I pray for food. Literally. I pray, I get to eat. As my cousins joke, “Andy, you get paid to do it anyway!”

But recently, that’s recently changed. My three year old, Sarah, she has learned the old blessing that so many of us learned in our childhood, “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. By His hands we are fed, Give us Lord our daily Bread. Amen.” And, now I’m bragging, but for a three year old, she does pretty well. And, I’ll also brag, it makes me really proud of her when we sit to eat at the house, or with complete strangers, when she bows her head and says the blessing for us.

But, she doesn’t say it very loud. She’s young, she’s a little quiet, and unlike her dad, she doesn’t have a loud voice. Sometimes, it can be hard to hear what she is saying when she prays.

Bill Moyers once was asked to give a blessing when Lyndon Johnson was President. Moyers said the prayer, but not very loudly. After the blessing the President commented, “Moyers, I couldn’t hear what you said.” Bill Moyers replied, “Sir, I wasn’t talking to you.”

I don’t care if my daughter ever says her prayers loud enough for me to hear. She’s not talking to me. She’s talking to God. So is it with all of our prayers. When you pray, you are talking to no one else, but our Father in Heaven.

Today, take time to talk to God. Don’t worry about what you will say. The words don’t matter anyway. What matters is the heart. Take time to talk to God. He wants to hear from us. Today, let us whisper that prayer. It doesn’t matter if anyone hears or not. God hears. And He’s who we are talking to anyway.

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