Going beyond the "Amen"
One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
He said to them, “When you pray, say:
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.
And lead us not into temptation.’”
~ Luke 11:1 - 4
It was a difficult night finding rest. The world just seems to be on a collision course with "something," and I simply found myself tossing to one side, and then to another. Most of the turning was met with the thought of, "I wonder what God must be thinking about now?"
Thomas Merton's prayer, "My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going," seemed to resonate with each breath.
Our prayers to God are often based out of some need that we seem to have. We acknowledge God and then begin to carefully plan how to make the intention known, when God already knows our heart and sees through each syllable. We try to wrap it up in way that God might be swayed to think one way or another.
I have found that the prayers that I lift to God without the use of words, seem to speak so much more loudly, while being driven by my heart and actions.
So much of the time we proclaim, "Amen," and God is just beginning to speak. We are often so focused on what it is that we want that we fail to wait and listen. Our "on demand," lifestyle assumes because there is no immediate response that God has failed in some way to hear what it is that we want, and we are left feeling abandoned.
Let's face it. We say "Amen," and some how we have faith to believe that this will be "enough."
Yesterday I was sitting with one of my patients who commented, "I like it when God seems to be silent. It then makes me realize that perhaps I also need to be silent as well."
Sundays as I lead in worship, as we share our prayer concerns with our faith community, I often lift, "those things that still lie within us, that we have yet to discover the words on how to express, but that God knows because God knows our hearts so well."
Intentions, intercessions, and simple prayers are the things that lead us to want to say, "Amen."
Today I invite you to begin your prayer with the word, "Amen," and then see where God leads.
And while you do, Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.