No, this isn't a post about how much I like the sound of my own voice. Although that probably would be a fun post, full of admonishment. Yay, admonishment!
My husband and I pray together several times a day: at meals, at our son's bedtime, and at our bedtime. We hold hands. We pray Luke 2:52 ("And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and men.") over our son at his bedtime and usually at ours, since we truly want all those things for him. We pray over our day, and we pray about anything with which we're struggling.
My husband and I take turns praying each night at my son's bedtime (though I frequently take that), and we take turns at our bedtime (though I usually opt out). I'm not going to lie; when my husband asks, "Who's up?" I usually say he is. I don't know why. I mean, I'm not averse to praying. Part of me likes when he prays because he's the spiritual leader of our household. He always prays for dinner now. I like that our son watches him pray.
The other part of me is, well, lazy. Are you surprised? I thought not.
One night last week, we were praying—well, he was praying. And I don't think it was a night that I opted out. I think I'd prayed the night before and it was actually his "turn." As he started praying, a voice in my heart said, "I want to hear your voice."
I thought it was silly at first, but then it got a little louder: "Rachel, I want to hear your voice."
I actually had to interrupt my husband's praying and say, "Umm, apparently God wants me to pray tonight. Mind if I take over?" He didn't think it was strange at all. He dropped off and I continued the prayer.
I wish I could tell you that it was some amazing, cathartic prayer that I prayed. That the world was changed because I said something important. I didn't. It wasn't. I think I may have even thrown some jokes in there (yes, God has a sense of humor), so profound, it wasn't.
But what it did remind me of is that, while praying in your head is well and good, and sometimes it's what you have to do, it's different to say it out loud. To let God hear your voice. The one he gave you. The one he'd know anywhere. No caller ID needed.
This struck me again today as I was preparing lunch for my son. I held his hands to pray, and he said, "I do it!" and folded his hands in front of him. While I waited for him to start, he said, "Mama, help me!" So I said, "Dear God, thank you for this day. Thank you for my family, and thank you for this food. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen." In his little toddler voice, trying not to trip over the phrase "for my family," he repeated each line after me. Well, except for "In Jesus' name I pray." When I get to that, he knows "amen" comes next and he skips to that.
But I thought, I'll bet God likes to hear my son's voice. That little voice that says so many funny things over the course of a day ("bum cereal," anyone?). I know I like to hear it. Why wouldn't God? He loves my son more than even I, his mother, could possibly imagine. Of course he wants to hear my son's voice talking to him. I like to hear my son's voice talking to God, too.
I need to stop pawning my prayers off on my husband. God wants to hear my voice. He wants to hear yours once in a while, too. Just so you know.
When was the last time God heard your voice?