Posted: February 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

Andy has been a good friend for a long time.
He is wild about Jesus.
He is wild about his family.
In my book, that makes him wildly successful.
He told me a wildly awesome story last week.
It’s a story about something that we all do, it’s just awkward to talk about…at least out loud.
Andy was at a early morning Bible study group with a bunch of dudes. I think there was delicious breakfast food involved.
The leader of the group asked one of the men to pray. The guy said he would love to pray, but that he doesn’t publicly pray out loud. He only prays silent prayers…and THAT is what he did.
As the other men awkwardly shuffled their feet and wondered if he was done yet, he prayed silently.
Silence can be thick when we aren’t used to it in our public gatherings.
Then, after a few moments, the private pray-er let out an enthusiastic “amen” and loud handclap signifying that prayer time was over.
Nobody knew what to do with that.
Can we agree with prayer that we can’t hear?
What did he say?
Does it count if we can’t hear it?

Then my amazing friend, Andy, had a wild thought…silent farts are some of the strongest farts.
Why wouldn’t silent prayer be the same?!
This is one of the reasons that I really love Andy. He thinks of stuff like this.

I can say from years of research and exposure that silent farts truly ARE some of the strongest farts. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about! We have all been innocent victims and purveyors of the strategically placed, silent but deadly toot.
Without any warning you find yourself in a thick SBD fog. The toxic air biscuit or ghost turd, definitely smelt but not heard. Passive aggressive gas, SBDs are the ninjas of the flatulence family. You don’t know it’s there until you are suddenly surrounded. You are suddenly consumed by its presence. The fragrance has overtaken you!

Silent farts are some of the strongest farts. Why wouldn’t silent prayer be the same?!

I’ve prayed and been privy to a lot of NON-silent prayers…
I’ve heard people preach entire 3 point sermons in a prayer. I’ve heard folks quote every Bible verse they know as they prayed. Others use big impressive sounding words, or talk in very proper King James English (like that is all that God understands). I’ve personally prayed shopping lists disguised as prayer. Over the years I’ve learned all the right religious words. I know how to pray a completely AUTHORIZED, yet completely UNAUTHENTIC prayer.
I can pray out loud!
We sometimes think our prayers need to sound lofty in order to reach heaven, and so we try to impress everybody within hearing distance with our verbal rightness.

When someone doesn’t or won’t pray out loud, we think it’s an obvious sign of immaturity, Surely it’s just a phase and once they grow up a bit they will start sharing their prayers with the rest of us.

We don’t like silent prayer.
But, wait…here’s the deal…
WHO are we praying to?
Are we praying to the guy standing next to us?
Are we talking to the ONE who sees the silent?
In our awfully loud world silence makes us nervous, but solitude is a gift from God.
Being able to just get quiet with God is actually a sign of a deep intimacy.
When I was a kid, I had a “silent dog whistle” that only my dog could hear. It sounded on a frequency that only a dog could hear. What if the prayers that we just can’t say out loud don’t go unheard? What if the prayers that are too personal and painful to proclaim are listened to on a whole different frequency that only God hears?
What if the prayers, hopes, and dreams that we can’t seem to push past our throats are heard by God? What if silent prayers find themselves surrounded by the thick presence of a God who leaves a beautiful fragrance in our lives?
What if the strongest prayers are the ones that only God can hear?
Maybe it’s time to drop some serious SBDs.

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