Earlier this week, I saw that my mom had posted a new photo on Facebook. It was a picture of a project that my little sister, who is 7 years old and a first grader, had worked on in school. Her teacher must have asked her class to write a “Lenten promise,” or something that they would add to their spiritual life during Lent (and hopefully beyond).
I was so moved when I read my little sister’s response.
She said, “My Lenten promise is to pray extra because I can talk to Jesus more often. I want to do this because he might have something to tell me.”
It took me a long time until I was able to understand prayer in this amazingly humble and deep way, yet my 7-year-old sister knew it without even being aware of how powerful her realization was.
So often, we look at prayer as a process of us talking to God and telling Him what we want or need. It’s true that this is a form of prayer, but praying can also be so much simpler. Prayer sometimes is most powerful when it involves us simply being silent, and allowing God to speak to us.
As many things as we think we have to tell Jesus, He has so much more to tell us. We don’t know how we are going to make it through tough times, we don’t know who is going to be with us throughout those tough times, and we don’t have any idea what the future holds. But, He does. He’s probably not going to tell us exactly what we want to know, but He will tell us what we need to hear. Often times, all we need to hear is a simple “I love you” or “I’m here with you.” We want to hear “Things will get better,” “Trust in Me,” or “I’ll help you through this.” He is telling us all of these things, and so much more, every day of our lives, but we often forget to listen.
Jesus knows the desires of our hearts and what will make us truly joyful and at peace, and He is longing to guide us along the way we should go. He has so much to tell us, so many good things and so many loving words. He wants us to have conversations with Him during our prayers, asking for His help, thanking Him, telling Him what we need or want, and listening to what He may want to tell us. Jesus often speaks very loudly, if only we have the courage to listen.
My little sister probably doesn’t even realize the wisdom of the words she wrote for her Lenten promise assignment yet, but the truth and power held in them are so important. As often as we turn to God and ask Him for His help, we must also allow ourselves to be still.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10