May 17

“He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.”  Psalm 102:17

“The tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but beating his breast, and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  I tell you, this man went down to his home justified.”  “Luke 18:13-14

Prayer is our very own conversation with GOD … a two-way street.  I recall a televised interview with Mother Teresa.  She was asked, “When you pray, what do you say?”  She answered, “I don’t say anything.  I listen.”  The interviewer asked, “What does God say to you?”  Mother Teresa answered, “He doesn’t say anything.  He listens.” 

Like the very air we breathe, God is all around us, talking … if we just listen.  Not just in the lessons of pastors and teachers and Bible study, but in the comfort and encouragement offered by family and friends.  The kindness of strangers might be bringing a message from God.  In the needs of others, God is calling us to love and act.

Like the very air we breathe, God is all around us, listening.  We joyfully sing praise and give thanks.  We quietly ask … plead.  We shamefully whine and seethe.  We think no one hears the cries silenced in our palms or smothered in our pillows, “sighs too deep for words” – God hears it all.  God reads our minds and hearts and knows when either/both is wandering.  Before words come, God hears.  When words don’t come at all, God hears.  Mother Teresa also wrote ”When the time comes and we cannot pray, it is very simple – let Jesus pray in us to the Father in the silence of our hearts.  If we cannot speak, he will speak.  If we cannot pray, he will pray.  So let us give him our inability and our nothingness.”  “Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear.”  (Isaiah 65:24)

“Lord, teach a little child to pray, and oh accept my prayer;

Thou hearest all the words I say, for Thou art everywhere.”  Amen

(from “A Child’s Garden of Prayer”, Concordia Publishing House, presented to me September 5, 1954, in recognition of Sunday School attendance)

Verla Olson