“I’m supposed to bring a plate to the hockey banquet next week,” my young son announced.
“Bring a plate? What do you mean, Stephen?” I asked him, perplexed.
“That’s what the coach said.”
I wasn’t familiar with the idiom “bring a plate”, so Stephen took an empty plate to the dinner, but he was supposed to bring a plate full of goodies to share! Whether it was not explained to him, or he only heard part of the message, I never found out. All I know is that there was a disconnect in communication.
In the early 1990s, I taught a learning-to-read programme in Grade One in Slovakia. Instruction was in English as much as possible, but I worked with a Slovak teacher who would translate the daily phonics story as I read it.
One weekend, our family was to leave the school early to visit relatives. The normal schedule was lunch in the cafeteria, outside playtime, and then back to class for a short afternoon, an hour at the most. The pastor had given us permission to leave right after we ate. I carefully explained to Mira that we were leaving after lunch, and that she would be in charge.
As we edged towards the door, backpacks and all, she was startled. “Where are you going?”
“Remember, we were leaving after lunch,” I repeated. I’m sure that the previous conversation was in English, but somehow the Czech-Slovak mindset confused the issue. “After lunch” is po obědě in Czech (that’s what I was thinking), but in Slovak po obede means “in the afternoon”. That’s what Mira was thinking. Another communication disconnect.
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered.”(Matthew 10:30 NLT)
“You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.”(Psalm 139:4 NLT)
Unlike the confusing conversations that frequently occur and cause disconnects, God knows everything, and He knows us intimately. He even knows our thoughts. He is never confused by our jumbled words in prayer. We may not know every ramification of our problem, but He does.
“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.”(Romans 8:26 AMP)
The Holy Spirit guides our prayers through the words that He inspires us to speak. We may not understand the situation fully, or be able to explain ourselves, or use the right words. We may be emotional when we pray. When words fail us, we can pray in the Spirit. We can even ask Him for our own prayer language that enables our spirit to have direct access to God, through His Holy Spirit.
Prayer: Thank You so much, Lord, that You know us so well that You even know our thoughts. Thank You that You want us to express these thoughts to You. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, and give us our own prayer language, so that we can be in perfect communication with You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Alice Burnett <email@example.com>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission