Prayer: Words and Silence

What is prayer? What is it really? How do you do it? Sometimes I find myself getting so frustrated. I have always had a short attention span, and that coupled with my personality which happens to be very goal-oriented and task focused can make it even harder. My brain likes to jump around from thought to thought and I often find myself speaking words for the sake of getting through my prayer list and making sure all “my bases are covered” while my mind is at a totally different place. So is that really even prayer?

Words. I so often tend to think of prayer as words. I have to say the right words in my prayer and then I can check if off my list. It’s been prayed for, God heard, and now we move on. But then I miss things…prayer becomes mechanical. I’m so focused on getting through my list that I often come out of prayer times feeling like I never really connected. But I said the words, right? Those things and people got prayed for, right?

There has to be more than this. The Bible says that God intercedes for us, and knows what we need before we even speak. So is it okay to just sit and focus on God. Is that prayer? Even in silence? Are those things on our prayer list getting prayed for even if we aren’t speaking the actually words? I want to believe that God simply hears our hearts and knows the requests. I want to believe that He is interceding for those requests even when I’m just sitting in His presence, reading Scripture, or in an attitude of focus and prayer.

Surely I’m not the only one who has these questions. Surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this. I know that prayer “works”. It is SO powerful, and God has been continually showing me this truth in amazing ways over the past months. I just wish I were better at it. I wish I knew how to do it. I wish I understood it more. All I know is that it works, and I’m so thankful for a Savior I can come to any time, place, or season of my life. And I’m so glad He hears, because I truly know he does.

Prayer. I come to You and try to speak.

I try.

But sometimes my best efforts fail.

Words. Flow from lips

Flow from a heart heavy with the pleas of a hurting world.

Flow from an urgency to have done enough—said enough.

I try.

But in my efforts to accomplish enough, I fail.

I fail to see Your face.

You intercede.

Is it enough? Enough to sit in silence?

Do You hear the unspoken?

Will you speak for me?

If I sit—just sit and look, if I am silent and don’t speak at all?

Is it enough? Will you hear?

Will You speak for me?

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