Psalm 139:1-6 (NRSV)

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me. 2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. 3 You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways. 4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. 5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.

Psalm 139:4(NRSV)

4 Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.

DEVOTION – Sari-Marita Hakkinen (Capital Region, Finland)

Once I was asked to go to the hospital to meet with an elderly woman who had lost her ability to speak.  When I entered her room, she smiled warmly and told me with a wave of her hand to come closer and sit down.  Then she pointed to a little red book of daily Bible verses on her table.

“Would you like me to read the verse for the day for you?”  I asked.  She nodded, and I began to read these words from Matthew 12:36:  “I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter.”  Such cruel words for her in this situation, I thought.

When I stopped reading, she slowly lifted her hands, clasped as in prayer.  Then she moved her hands in the air in an up-and-down motion.  What a strong image she gave of praying to God!

“Do you mean that God can hear your thoughts in prayer?”  I asked.  She nodded, took my hand, and squeezed it gently.

I had been taught a most beautiful lesson:  God understands our prayers in every circumstance and can show us how to share love with those we meet, even when we have lost the ability to speak.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God hears our prayers even when we cannot find words to speak.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, show us his day how to reach others with your love.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: PEOPLE WITHOUT THE POWER OF SPEECH

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