Something to Talk About

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Sometimes, there is this feeling that all has been said to God or that nothing need be said. God knows it all, right? The psalmist tells us God is well-acquainted with our thoughts before we ever form them, sees our perspective before we come to understand it (Cf. Psalm 139:2). In fact, it has been said that the Psalms cover every facet, feature, and feeling of our human experience. God has heard it all before and has the book of Psalms to prove it.

So, what is the point of saying what God already knows? Surely, we are all repeating our ancestral selves: “Somebody prayed for me.” But, prayer circles are never complete; the “prayer wheel” is always turning as God always has something to say to us.

Addressed to us personally, God’s response is not a hand-me-down communication, fitted for an older sibling, cousin, or friend. Much like the gospels and the New Testament letters addressed to communities and churches long gone, the sender and point of contact (that is Christ) remains and so does the work. There is much to be said and said again. God’s words always bear repeating.

The holy repetition of the Lord’s Prayer and others help to mold and shape us. It seems that the words never take the first time. So, we say them to smooth rough places, rough patches along this pilgrim journey. And prayer motivates our movement as we talk ourselves through this test and that trial. Prayer is there for us when we cannot see where we are going or understand why God is taking us this way.

“I think I know another way.” Or, “I think that I have seen this tree, this temptation before.”

Still, a bowed head is better than bumping our head against a brick wall. Prayer only seems hard; the words only seem painful. Opening our mouths to God can be scary but the words come on their own. The Holy Spirit guides them, pulls them from reality and memory, history and theologies long at work within us.

Yes, prayer aids us in our finding the true self and is the working language of the soul. This holy conversation helps us find our own tongue. Feeling for the words of Holy Scripture, our prayer time connects human and spiritual realities. Prayer brings the two worlds together, brings creature and Creator closer together.

Prayer aids in our knowing, knowing deeply and mysteriously that God is with us, even on the tip of our tongues. And God has no interested in holding them because there is always something to talk about.

Reverend Starlette Thomas* is an associate pastor at Village Baptist Church in Bowie, Maryland and the Minister to Empower Congregations at the D.C. Baptist Convention. She writes on the social construct of race and the practice of faith at www.racelessgospel.com. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and Starbucks.

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