Is Prayer a Foreign Language to You?

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

James 5:16


My wife and I just returned from a mission trip to Nicaragua.  We teamed up with David and Pam Copeland for five days of ministry and teaching.  All of us appreciated your prayers and support.

Where we went, not too many people spoke English.  Since we were in a foreign country, the people spoke a foreign language.  Without our translators, we would have had difficulty getting the message delivered.

I guess I could learn to speak and understand Spanish.  And after all, with 5 years of Spanish in Junior High and High School, I probably should remember more than I do.  But then again, why should I?

I really don’t understand the language.  And it sure seems to me that the people speak so fast that I can’t possibly catch every word, even if I could understand what they are saying.

On top of that, I don’t really need to know Spanish.  There are people there that can translate for me.  And, I know a few words to be able to get by on the essentials – “agua, gracias, dinero, bano, mi nombre es Carlos.”  I can get by on my own.

And if I really wanted to lean Spanish, I would have to really focus on it and spend some time; time I really don’t have.  So it will just have to stay a foreign language to me; I can get by on my own.

I sometimes wonder if we don’t treat prayer the same way – as a foreign language.  We don’t understand or comprehend it; we don’t comprehend and understand what God is trying to tell us.  It seems like most of the time, God never answers our prayers anyway.  Besides, God is sovereign.  He knows everything anyway; He knows what we need.  So why bother to pray?

Sometimes we think we don’t need God in our lives.  After all, look what “we” have done.  What do we need prayer for?  We think we can get by on our own.

And to be able to pray effectively, we need to study God’s Word and His commandments; we need to understand His love for each of us, and to do that we have to take time to focus on Him.  We are too busy to find the time to really focus on God.

Don’t treat prayer as a “foreign” language.  You must understand through faith what God’s Will for your life is, and then direct your prayers towards His Will.  You must spend time with God, and focus on what He wants from you and for you.  If you do that, prayer will come naturally to you; you will look forward to spending time talking with God.  It won’t be a “foreign language.”

 ~Charles A. Kalkomey