Let Your Words be Few

by Mary Stout

Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few. (Ecclesiastes 5:2 NIV)

When I read this verse it struck me as confusing. All my life I’ve been taught to pray without worrying about whether or not I sound good to God. Now, this verse is telling me to let my words be few.

What in the world does that mean? Do I now have to make sure I pray the right words or pray quickly? How many words are the right number? How does this verse seem to say the opposite of what Paul wrote when he said to pray without ceasing? On the surface, these ideas may seem incongruent. We must look deeper than the surface to understand.

God wants us to be intentional with our prayer life. He sees our heart no matter what we pray with our words. Say what we mean. Don’t worry so much about the words. God wants us to give him what’s in our heart and soul. Giving God our intentions as we pray brings us closer to His heart.

Know that time and space are human constraints. The Lord hears our prayers no matter if we are on Earth or He is in heaven. Pray with the knowledge of His listening ear if you’re in a season of utter despair or joy. He listens to our prayers no matter where or when we utter them. He even listens to our groans and cries when we can’t use our words.

Let your words be few does not mean to say short prayers. Instead, I think it means our Father wants us to be intentional and succinct when we pray. He is always there listening so go ahead and pray without ceasing. Pray from your heart. Give it all to Him.

Prayer: Father may my prayers to you reveal my heart. Help me Lord to pray and focus my whole life on you and your precepts. Thank you for listening and loving me when I falter or don’t know what to say. I love you, Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.

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