I have a question (or two) for you. Are the words we say important? How about the words we pray, are they important?
I was thinking about this after reading about simple prayers, that when we are praying, God knows what is on our heart. Thereby, it is more important we are communicating with our Father, than how we word our prayers. We shouldn’t fear our lack of eloquence or commit ourselves to only praying structured prayers.
Personally, I have often remained quite, allowing other people to pray who I felt were better pray-ers. It goes beyond praying to public speaking or asking questions on Zoom calls. I’m afraid I will appear stupid or at least ignorant, not to mention worrying that I somehow missed the fact that the topic had already been covered.
Thinking of the importance of our words, it seems to me, that depending on our audience, words have different weights. Let’s compare four scriptures that help us understand the difference. Two regarding our conversation with God, and two our conversation with others.
And when you pray, do not go on and on, excessively and strangely like the outsiders; they think their verbosity will let them be heard by their deities. Do not be like them. Your prayers need not be labored or lengthy or grandiose —for your Father knows what you need before you ever ask Him.Matthew 6:7-8 (VOICE)
In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.Romans 8:26-27 (AMP)
In these two verses we are reassured that our words are less weighty. Our Father knows our hearts and knows what we need. He is not impressed by grand speech.
Do not let unwholesome [foul, profane, worthless, vulgar] words ever come out of your mouth, but only such speech as is good for building up others, according to the need and the occasion, so that it will be a blessing to those who hear [you speak].Ephesians 4:29 (AMP)
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.Proverbs 16:24 (ESV)
Here we see the importance of our words when addressing other people and even ourselves. Another scripture tells us death and life are in the tongue. So while the words of our prayers don’t influence their effectiveness, it is important to consider our words in our relationships with others, choosing words that bring life and blessing.
Both are quite the challenge.