Every day for more than 70 years, either formally or informally, I have been talking to Yahweh: we call this ‘prayer’. I have been privileged to spend my life in the company of people who pray and, consequently, have first-hand experience of its astonishing power. The prayer journey is amazing, often challenging, seldom static, and rich with invaluable lessons.
No one is too young to talk to Yahweh. I have fond memories of simple [and answered] prayers made from the earnest heart of a 5-year-old! It’s never too soon to teach our children to pray. The wonderful thing about Yahweh is that He listens to each of us as if there were only one of us to listen to. How marvellous! It’s never too early or too late to pray, we cannot disturb Yahweh because He never sleeps, and His ears are always attentive to our cries [Psalm 34:15]. Nor is it ever too late to start to pray, no one is too old or too inexperienced to begin communicating with Him. Some of the most effective prayers are a brief cry from the heart. “Lord, save me,” cried Peter when he found himself sinking into the waves [Matthew 14:30]. “Lord, help me,” begged the mother, whose daughter was sick [Matthew 15:25].
As we grow in prayer, we will discover that often, as Yahweh shows us the way forward, the answer will include Him enabling us in the situation, and we then become a part of the answer! Prayer does not, necessarily, change circumstances, but if not, then it will change us. We find ourselves approaching them with a new courage and strength, we have peace, and we have support. Prayer is not an escape mechanism; it offers us strength to face our circumstances and to either conquer or endure them.
“In prayer, we have, of course, to begin by talking, but we always have to end by listening” [William Barclay]. This, for me, was an exciting lesson. It takes time to learn the art of being quiet in Yahweh’s Presence, and, equally, to discern when He is speaking to us. However, the joy it brings and the awe it inspires is abundant compensation.