Beliefnet
Prayer, Plain and Simple

New experience: I am writing this post using the voice recognition software in my computer. I’ve never used this feature before and it is a weird experience.  When I first began to write from a keyboard it took time for me to begin to think through my fingers. Thinking out loud is a completely different process.  To think as I speak forces me to be very intentional about what I say.  I have a hunch that this discipline may be a very good exercise in learning to consider my words carefully.  For every mumble and stammer does carry a consequence.

My challenge is that I’m relating with a machine and not a person. The computer registers every sound I make and interprets it through its own preprogrammed assumptions.  And what the computer hears very often is not what I said, or at least intended to say.  This last sentence, before I corrected it read, “And wait the computer ears furry often is not wait I sad…”   

Prayer to God is not so mercilessly exacting. God is no computer.  He is a person I can dialog with intimately. No artificial intelligence can register my nonverbal cues, my moods and body language and all the subtle nuances that betray the secret ministries of my soul.  God knows all these things. As Jesus promised, God knows what I need even before I ask. He invites me to speak in prayer because it makes conversation. But he doesn’t need my words in order to register my heart. He knows me better than I know myself.

Once I finish rambling out this experiment I will have to go back and correct words and in some cases whole sentences so that you the reader can made some sense of my stream of consciousness.  Or perhaps for greater impact I should just leave it as it is! That would make the point, and frustrate you in the process!

Praise be! God is far more than a voice recognition system. God hears and responds and coaxes from me much more than what I say; he works with me until I say what I truly mean. I believe that prayer is the place where we all learn to truly talk. After all, we’re just infants in the eternal scope of time. We’re honing a skill we’ll be using for all eternity.  As we muddle through our efforts, God listens, reads between the lines and then perfectly esponds, sometimes with nothing more and nothing than less than a nonverbal, but perfectly timed, smile.

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