December 16, 2020
Suddenly a great assembly of the heavenly forces was with the angel praising God.
“Will you pray for us?” Those words used to make my heart stop in its tracks as I’m sure it has or does to many of you reading this. We try our best not to panic as it feels like all the words we ever knew slip from our grasp as we open our mouths to speak in front of and behalf of everyone present. In college I appreciated getting more than a two second notice that I would be speaking or praying. That extra time really allowed me to agonize over what words I would use. I remember one college retreat in particular where I would be sharing a devotional during second evening together. I furiously scribbled in a notebook the entire drive to our destination, but nothing was working. We arrived with me feeling defeated, and so I prayed. Curiously enough, this prayer had no words. I just shut my eyes and my heart kind of shouted for help. The reply I received was, “the words will come.”
For the rest of that day and the next, I kept preparing and looking over my notes. I prayed as well, hoping those words would be undeniably delivered to me from on high. They didn’t. But when the time came for my devotional, I spoke, and everything was fine. The words had arrived. Nowadays as a pastor, I’m asked to pray at the drop of a hat. It no longer bothers me because I have grown accustomed to trusting that the words will come.
Recently though, the words do not come as easily. I think it might just be that there aren’t words to describe what we are going through right now. While it doesn’t stop me from praying out loud or writing devotionals, it does take longer to find the words. All I can do is prepare as best I can and trust that the words will eventually come.
When they do, I always receive a spark of joy. Is that joy mixed with relief? Absolutely! It’s like a mini-arrival of a chorus of angels announcing my wait is over. As we begin looking at the story of the first Christmas, the angels arrive to announce the arrival of THE WORD. The Word became flesh and made his home among us (John 1:14). For generations, the Israelites waited and trusted that the Word would come. What joy to hear news that the wait is over!
As our wait for Christmas nears its end, pray for me as I pray for you. Please don’t sweat it if you can’t find the words. Be patient and have hope. In time, they will come.
Grace and peace,