So, what were the first sounds and words our kids (nieces, nephews or friends’ kids) ever spoke? From affectionate cradling and covering with care and attention, coo-coos & goo-goo-gagas graduate to da,da,da’s and m’, m’, mm’s, mum & dad.

It’s said, “We spend the first year of our children’s lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next 12 to sit down and shut up.” Certainly, children must learn to ‘chew a rusk, dummy or brick’ rather than tear your ear, but overall we mustn’t stifle their sharing with us. We want to encourage expression and the ability to name and understand their evolving relationships, feelings, insight and outlook.

Do kids speak only to the degree that they’re spoken to? If so, daily we adults have a supreme responsibility to speak Love and Good into our kids, which includes loving discipline. God shows us The Way in Scripture. Prayer is an innate instinct and a gracious gift from God, an ability to personally relate to the transcendent, ‘beyond-our-understanding’ God.

In The Beginning, God: Father, Son & Holy Spirit, marvelously and mysteriously 3 persons and one God (1 x 1 x 1 = 1) says, “Let us make human beings in our image, make them reflecting our nature.” (Genesis 1:26 / MSG). God breathes life into our body & being to reflect God’s Being of Love. Humans (literally ‘made from earth’), born of God’s Love, are made for loving harmonious relationships.

Eugene Peterson speaks of “The overwhelming previousness of God’s speech to our prayers.” As John puts it, “We love because God first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

Tim Keller (Prayer) writes, “This principle has practical consequences. It means that our prayers should arise out of immersion in the Scripture. We should ‘plunge ourselves into the sea’ of God’s language, the Bible. We should listen, study, think, reflect, and ponder the Scriptures until there is an answering response in our hearts and minds. It may be one of shame or of joy or of confusion or of appeal—but that response to God’s speech is then truly prayer and should be given to God. If the goal of prayer is a real, personal connection with God, then it is only by immersion in the language of the Bible that we will learn to pray, perhaps just as slowly as a child learns to speak.” 

A tragedy of today is the determination of people to deny God’s Voice of Love to them, spoken through Jesus Christ. But another tragedy lies in how easily Christians (including myself) are distracted from hearing God and responding through prayer.

Want to know God better and make God better known? Then get into God’s Word (Bible) and hear God addressing you as Beloved Daughter, Son, Sister, Brother & Friend (Etc.). Don’t accept the level you’ve reached in prayer (responding to God’s Voice). Set your clock, heart, mind and soul to regularly read an up-to-date version of The Bible. Get beyond the ‘goo-goo-ga-ga’s’ (perhaps every second word being ‘just’ or ‘would’ – “We just pray / We would pray that you would…”?).  Learn to humbly and confidently address God as Almighty Dad and see where God leads.

For, through Jesus we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.”
(Ephesians 2:17-18)