Thursday, September 23, 2010

Words, words, words

Last week my 13yo DD had a conversation with her teacher when she insisted that DD “Join in a Prayer right now!”

DD explained that she was confused about the nature of the prayer and didn’t feel comfortable and so she was actually just being quiet when the others were praying aloud and the lack of participation apparently deeply offended/irritated the teacher and a firm reprimand followed.

As a result there was tears, confusion, embarrassment (as DD was left sobbing in front of her classmates)

I admit the mumma bear in me got a little ruffled up.

I was in a position that I had to make a choice if my words were going to work to resolve the situation or if they were going to stir up the situation.

I didn’t really FEEL like having my words “be apples of gold, in settings of silver,” (Prov 25.11)

I was more in a rant and rave kinda mode. Someone has wronged my baby!! – thankfully (due to afterschool activity and a late pick up the school office was shut and I was graciously given the night to cool.

I had a choice to make.

I found out I can actually chose how to act and I had ALOT of prayer to make a right decision. Gentle answers actually do calm a situation and harsh ones do stir the situation up- (- who knew!!)- seems pretty simple but in deciding how to have this consultation this verse gave me alot of grounding. I had some desires that were very different but I also had to show my DD how to be able to use the verses we read in our everyday life.

This week we had a meeting with the Teacher and the Principal and the issue of whether or not a person is allowed to be silent in times of community prayer and whether or not miming or speaking the words and not meaning them was appropriate. These were difficult discussions that have caused alot of discussion about why we say things and what do we do if we have different opinions within a community. Hmmmm.

I have given alot of thought to how our words are used to bring praise and prayers to God , how they are used to control and manipulate others behaviour and how they are used to build up and sustain community.

Ultimately though our words reflect our heart. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Luke 6.45) and I believe that our words need to bring Glory to God first and encouragement to those that hear them second. I am struggling with this.

Do you think it is appropriate to speak aloud in prayer what is not in your heart to benefit others? Would you find someone remaining silent during a time of community prayer to be offensive?


  1. Not at all. Actually, if we don't agree or believe in something that is being said, I don't think we have the right to say it. I'm proud of your DD. :)

  2. I have trouble singing songs during worship that have words I find inappropriate. My parents always taught me to mean what I say, whether in speech or song or prayer.

    We shouldn't be afraid of thoughts and questions- but we generally are.

  3. I agree! I can't believe she got in trouble for that. Most people I know have a hard time with praying out loud in front of a group.
    I feel so bad for your DD, and congrats to her for doing what she felt is right.