The Way to a Father’s Heart

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I tumbled off the school bus with a satchel full of childhood woes. An imperfect score, a classroom bully, and a lost jacket weighed heavily on my mind. In my nine years, this day had possibly been the worst. I needed my mother.

Trudging onto the back porch, I swung the screen door open and my satchel to the floor. The house was silent except for the hum of a distant box fan, and my heart quietened as I stepped into this place of refuge.

Though I heard no sound, I knew someone was there, evidenced more by a sense of presence than by sight. As curiosity replaced anxiety, I tiptoed softly through the living room door and peeked inside. At first, I saw nothing move but the oscillation of the fan. 

As I moved inside, I noticed my mother sitting alone in the corner, with an open Bible in her lap. Unaware of my presence, her thoughts were elsewhere. As I watched, she silently mouthed unspoken requests, then paused to listen. I knew she was praying. In soundless awe, I stood mesmerized while an introverted country woman dialogued with an Almighty God.

More than fifty years later, this image still returns to memory. Seeing prayer in action, even silent intercession remains an impactful reminder. I witnessed the Divine link Himself to the earthly in a humble wooden farmhouse, and I’ve never forgotten it. O Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You think of him?” (Psalm 144:3)

But I’m not the only one in awe when a person truly prays. Notice God’s expressive reaction to the penitent Saul of Tarsus. “Behold! He is praying” (Acts 9:11). Although Saul grew up praying at least twice a day under a strict Jewish system, it was this contrite prayer that caused our Lord to say demonstratively, “Lo! He doth pray” (Young’s Literal Translation). 

The God “Who sees the mind and the heart” knows our limitations and tendency toward distraction (Jeremiah 20:12). He hears when the devil accuses us, and our hearts condemn us. But when we cry out in true brokenness over all the noise, God is ecstatic. With the nudge of a proud parent, the Lord says to His heavenly host, “Look! Take notice! Pay attention! My child is praying.”

No matter how feeble your prayer life is, know that your Heavenly Father eagerly commends all humble attempts. Longing to be gracious to you, He bends low to encourage your progress (Isaiah 30:18; Psalm 116:2). His Spirit is embedded deeply within you, directing your prayers in a way you can’t see. Your part is never to give up, convinced that He is praying for you and within you.

Give the Father reason to be proud of you today. Allow Him to say to all, “Watch! Take heed! Behold! That’s My girl, and she is praying!