Holding Our Peace When Words Fail Us

“Not with enticing words of man’s wisdom…” (1 Corinthians 2:4)

Which one do I use? Garrulous? Loquacious? Verbose or Ventose? Prolix? Wordy.

The concept of language fascinates me. How we can have these intangible things called thoughts and be able through simple (figuratively, of course) mental processes coupled with vocal cords and mouth parts, transmute those thoughts into spoken word? A word that conveys the aformentioned invisible thought that was previously known only to the thinker? Wow.

Did God whisper when He spoke the universe into existence? He didn’t have to yell if He didn’t want to. He speaks the universe into being and then some time (?) later His Word becomes flesh and blood with Jesus. Just thinking about these things is enough to render one speechless.

Jesus relates a parable in Matthew’s Gospel (chapter 22, verse 12, emphasis mine). He talks about a king arranging a wedding for his son and calling everyone to attend. When the king arrives at the feast and sees a man having snuck in without a wedding garment, he asks him a question: “Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.” The king proceeds to have his servants throw out the underdressed individual. Isaiah speaks of putting on “the garment of praise” (61:3) I’m sure there’s a correlation in there somewhere.

Use your words.

Jesus’ disciples are exclaiming His praises as the Pharisees look on, unimpressed. They tell Jesus to have them shut up, to which Jesus responds “I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.” (Luke 19:37-40) Sometimes it’s just gotta be said.

One thing I like to do if I’m bored or at a loss for words in prayer is to take the alphabet and think of a sincere, adulating adjective beginning with each letter, successively. And then praise Him thusly. “Jesus, You are Awesome. The Best. So Considerate, etc.” My dad taught me also to tell God why. Why don’t I know what to say. God knows.

The point is, God has given us our language to render Him in our own unique way. Referring again to the concept of turning our thoughts into words, I know that God knows the thoughts of my innermost being. But this doesn’t mean that a transaction has taken place if I don’t take the time and use my words to relate what I’m thinking and feeling and present those as prayers before Him. Something wonderful happens when we talk to God. I believe He is able to act once we’ve opened up to Him to the best of our ability. Prayer has a manifold benefit of not only keeping us in contact with “our Father which art in Heaven” (Matthew 6:9), but also hearing ourselves as we speak to Him. Developing that inner voice and using our vocabulary to the best of our ability is essential to rounding out our Christian walk. Which, by the way, is also known as our “conversation” (Philippians 1:27). Interesting.

The angel tells Daniel (10:12): “I am come for thy words.” God responds when we speak to Him.

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