Praying from Our Hearts to God

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually,
18 give thanks in all circumstances
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
“I miss you Grandma to I wish we cud go up to your house”
This was the email I recently received from my six-year-old grandson. We have not seen each other in person since Labor Day weekend in September 2020. It is difficult to be apart, as most everyone reading this post knows in some way from 2020 experiences and restrictions that continue into 2021.
As a retired high school English teacher and reading specialist, the grammatical errors in my grandson’s email stand out to me like bold, enlarged print. Yet, these errors do not matter to me at all. The message is perfect, sincere, and heartfelt. It brought forth both tears and smiles when I read it.
Do we think about our communications with God, how they are spoken in our prayers and how they are received by Him? Jesus criticized the Pharisees who prayed elaborate prayers before others, for the human audience.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”    (Matthew 23:27-28)
Our prayers to God need to be heartfelt, not an appearance of humility and not perfect in elocution. Communication with God does not require the skill of “clearer and expressive speech, especially of distinct pronunciation and articulation.” 1 In our personal prayers, we must show our respect to our Father, our God. Yet, the communication should,  also,  be        intimate with Him, the Father, whom we know will hear us and respond to us. Such prayers can be “on the spot” in a walk, on a drive to work, while putting clothes in the washer. In those moments, we can rejoice, be thankful, and tell Him our heartaches and hopes. The early morning hour, mealtime, and/or bedtime prayers, on the other hand, can become routine or even ritualistic, if we are not more conscious of this time with Him.
The simple, sincere expression of love in my grandson’s email touched my heart. How do our words and how we speak them, whether aloud or in our thoughts, affect our Father when we pray? Are we reaching out to Him in a way that clearly shows we have a close relationship with Him? Do we want to spend time with Him, now and eternally?
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. (Colossians 4:2)
. . . pray continually . . . (I Corinthians 5:17)
We want to be with you, Father, in your house forever.
One day. . .
Until then, we come to You in our prayers.

1 Elocution. Definition from Google’s Dictionary-Oxford Languages. Google

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/21/2021)  Meditations on God’s Word


Whenever my grandchildren come to visit, they know they will get this emphatic question from me when they enter my home: “Where are my grandma hugs?!” If you are a grandparent, you know how special it is to be on the receiving end of hugs from your grandchildren, especially when there is no asking, and they just offer hugs freely and sincerely with love.

In our COVID culture today, hugs are not encouraged. In fact, hugging is discouraged. Yet, I suggest that lots of “hugging” has been occurring in different ways—through prayer, phone calls or texts, messages on cards, groceries purchased, meals prepared and delivered, tagged Facebook posts, Messenger messages, caregiving in different ways, and more. The physical “touch” of hugging is missing, but the love is felt.

Our Lord never physically hugged anyone reading this post. Yet, He has hugged each one of us in so many ways, freely and sincerely with His love.

Have you felt His hugs–

–As He left the Father to come to this earth as a baby, subject to the physical frailties of being human.

–As He started on the path to following His Father’s Will at age 12 with the scribes in the Temple.

–As He sought moments of solitude from the crowds who came to be healed by Him–yet returned to meet their needs.

–As He appealed to His Father in the Garden to take this cup from Him, weeping tears as of blood, His agony so great—yet obedient to God’s Will, not His, for us all.

–As He faced Pilate and stood silent. As He took the punishment, the torture, the mockery.

–As nails were pounded into His hands and feet and a crown of thorns was pushed into His scalp.

–As He hung by nails on a cross where He struggled to breathe and dealt with excruciating pain.

–As He called out to His Father, asking to forgive for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

–As He told the thief on the cross that He would be with Him in Paradise that day. (Luke 23:43) The promise is real. We each have the opportunity for redemption. Paradise is the place where Jesus is.

–As He cried out to the Father, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) The wrenching cry of the Son to the Father as the Son took on the sins of mankind, alone and separated from the Father. He chose the cross.

–As He said to the Father, “It is finished.” The Will of God, His Father, was fully obeyed and completed that we all might be saved. (John 19:30)

Jesus gives reassurance to His disciples and to us: “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also.”  (John 14:1-3)

The HUG: “I will come again and take you to Myself.”

HUGS across time, throughout all time, from our Lord and Savior. And we can feel them in our hearts every moment until He comes again.

How will we return His hugs while we wait for that day?

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/14/21)  Meditations on God’s Word


But for me it is good to be near God;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
that I may tell of all Thy works.
(Psalm 73:25)
Walking past the pew,
Feeling the presence,
Impressions remaining,
The voice still heard.

No longer there in body,
Yet still part of the Body,
His church, our family.
Past presence in the present.

Living on.

We, often, strive to continue past our demise by leaving a legacy through money, statues, status, writings, songs, acting, deeds, honors, awards, patents, wills, children, more and more–so we humans can live on. Yet, nothing continues forever here. Human legacies fail, crumble, are forgotten, and succumb to mortality.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-20)
A legacy that lives on must be from the inside, in a heart where God dwells. The influence of His Light helps others see that a true, abiding presence in this world is His Presence within.
What presence will we leave behind,
To carry on beyond our passing,
Lingering in thoughts and hearts,
Dwelling in moments remembered.

Our legacy, human and temporal;
His legacy, divine and eternal.
Christ within, impressions remain
His Words and Love living on.                                           
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.
(John 13:34-35)

(Sharon G. Tate blog 02/07/21)  Meditations on God’s Word