Learning to ‘whisper more’ when it comes to prayer

Published 6:27 pm Friday, November 26, 2010

There’s no way that I can take credit for this thought. My mind’s too small for something like that.

The thought belongs to Kevin Kling who is one of the most incredible individuals that I have ever met. Kevin is a storyteller from Minnesota – that explains why he has so much time for deep thinking.

Kevin was born with a shortened left arm that has no thumb or wrist. He became further disabled in 2001 when a motorcycle crash paralyzed his right arm. He is seldom without pain.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

He was a featured storyteller at the 2010 Pike Piddlers Storytelling Festival and put a lump in a lot of throats when he talked about prayer.

Kevin said there are three kinds of prayers. One is the kind of prayer when you ask God for something.

And, heavens to Betsy, I do that. Most of them are silly, frivolous prayers that must even get on God’s nerves.

Lord, please help me find the car keys, my check card, my billfold, the scissors, the cat and on and on.

My son asked me if I’ve noticed that I lose things so often that nobody even helps me look for them.

I really hadn’t noticed. I was too busy asking God for His divine guidance and for His intercession.

Lord, please don’t let it be the transmission. Lord, help me say no to chocolate. Lord, did I put salt in the potatoes? Lord, please don’t let it be company at the door. Lord, where am I supposed to be going?

Asking. Those are the most often prayers that I send up.

Then there are the kinds of prayers where you are asking God to get you out of something. And, Lord knows, I’ve prayed my share of those.

Lord, if you’ll just let me get my feet on the ground you won’t ever catch me in an airplane again. Lord, if you just won’t let anybody see me in here, I’ll never step foot in this place again. Lord, if you’ll just get me out of this jam, I promise I’ll think twice before I do anything like this again.

God has gotten my feet back on the ground but I soon forgot my promise. And, since nobody saw me after all – well, it was a fun kind of place. And, I thought twice the next time but did it again anyway.

The Good Lord has gotten me out of a lot of jams but I’ve not learned to stay out of tight places.

Pleading. I’m heavy on that, too.

And, then there are the kinds of prayers where we are thanking God for the many things that He has done for us. And, that’s kind of where I’m falling down.

So many times a day, I have an opportunity to thank God for His many blessings. But it’s usually at night when I close my eyes that I whisper to Him in thanks for family, health, friends, home and freedom and those who defend it.

Not often do I pause to thank God for the sunset that brings the day to a close or the slice of moon or its fullness of a cold, crisp night. Not often do I thank Him for the songs of the night birds or a cool, gentle breeze or the drifting leaves that signal his presence or the way a smile or kind word lifts me.

The Bible says that, in all things, we should give thanks to the Lord.

There’s a song or maybe it’s a poem that says, Whisper a prayer in the morning. Whisper a prayer at noon. Whisper a prayer in the evening to keep your heart in tune.

Whispered prayers are always those of thanks.

I’m learning to whisper more.

Jaine Treadwell is features editor of The Messenger.