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Jumpstarting Sluggish Prayers – Just Stammer Away

Prayer 6Key Bible Verse:  We don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  – Romans 8:26

Bonus Reading: Psalm 63: 1-8

We don’t like to stand speechless or stammering before God, but that doesn’t mean God holds it against us when we do.

I remember a vacation with my parents in France when I was in high school.  I had just completed two years of French, hardly enough to make me fluent.  Still, there we were, tourists wanting to make the most of our time.

So when we needed a bathroom, when we wanted to find a cafe, or when I lost my eyeglasses on the steps of L’Eglise du Sacre-Coeur, I falteringly used my butchered French.  I was trying—to the politely suppressed laughter of others—to speak the language.  But I remember more than the townspeople’s bemusement.

I remember how they warmly received my efforts.  They strained to hear past my fractured sentences.  They honored me by responding.

Is God any less generous?

He hears all that arises from us—the words of our mouth, the longings of our hearts, the thoughts of our minds, the intentions of our wills.  Regret, grief, thanksgiving, hope—God hears our emotions, not just our grammar.

Because of his grace, not our eloquence, we can pray.  Even if we stammer.

—Timothy Jones in The Art of Prayer


My Response: I know God hears my feeble words and stammered prayers because …


Thought to Apply: Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence.—W. S. Bowden (Methodist bishop)

Adapted from The Art of Prayer (WaterBrook, 2005)


Prayer for the Week:  Dear Heavenly Father, help me to pray more consistently, more fervently, and more selflessly.




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