There are some things I’ve loved to hear my sons say:
“Thanks, Mom,” as they pull their lanky frames away from the dinner table.
“I’m sorry,” after a dispute between them has escalated for days.
“I didn’t think it would be a good idea,” when a tempting-but-questionable opportunity has presented itself.
These words bring me joy as a mom. As God’s children, we are to “find out what pleases the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:10) If we love Him, we’ll seek to discover what brings Him joy and set about to say and do those things.
Here are some words that the Lord loves to hear:
1. “I’ve got time.”
Time-management experts have shown us how to take advantage of stoplights, checkout lines, and telephone conversations, but not how to take advantage of time spent in God’s presence. That calls for a focused mind, a quiet heart, and an unhurried spirit. Circumstances don’t always allow it, of course, but what a mutual joy when we can give God our full attention and wide-open access to our heart, talking and listening until we’ve truly finished the conversation.
2. “Will You redeem this?”
God has a passion for redemption ~ not just lost souls, but wasted years, senseless tragedies, and agonizing memories. (Isaiah 43:18-19) He also cares about misunderstandings, pesky irritations, and days gone bad. He’ll enter every circumstance and work for our good if we invite Him to do so. (Romans 8:28)
3. “I trust You.”
We often pray, “I trust You to provide…”, “I trust You for an answer to…” But God loves to hear us say less than that! Just three little words tell Him that we have complete confidence in Who He is, what He wants to do, and the way He’ll choose to do it: “I trust You.”
4. “Please give me understanding.”
“Living by faith” doesn’t always mean walking in the dark! Sure, sometimes we’ll need to trust where we can’t see, but God delights in increasing our understanding and loves to hear us ask for it. After all, He spoke through the prophets and apostles to give us knowledge. He put His Spirit within us to teach us the things of Christ. And He wants to fill His children “with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives”. (Colossians 1:9)
5. “It’s a privilege.”
Often God’s gifts and callings degenerate over time into rights we protect or obligations we grudgingly meet. God is delighted, however, when we’re continually available as temples for His Spirit and vessels of honor useful to Him ~ no strings attached. Then He can put us to any task and hear gratitude instead of grumbling, contentment instead of competition and comparison, servanthood instead of “success.”
6. “I’m hungry.”
God wants to hear that our spiritual snacking isn’t fulfilling, that our fast-food yen for “burgers and fries” is waning; we want to be truly fed with the fortifying meat of the Word. God is eager to develop our appetite for fine dining. He says, “If [you] would only listen to me… you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you”. (Psalm 81:13,16)
7. “I can wait.”
The psalmist wrote, “I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me. But I have calmed and quieted myself; I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content” (Psalm 131:1-2). He’s saying, “I’m a child in Your lap, Lord. I’m not fretting for complete understanding, for that last piece of the puzzle… The solution, the full explanation doesn’t have to come right now, Lord. Your timetable is mine.”
8. “I don’t know.
“I don’t know what to decide.”
“I don’t know how to discipline my child.”
“I don’t know how to pray for my friend.”
God loves it when we add, “But You do.” If we’ll humbly admit we need guidance, He won’t leave us at the mercy of our own best guess. He’ll come to our rescue, dispelling the panic that drowns out His voice and rebuking the pride and willfulness that knots the lines of communication. He’ll lead us around the land mines hidden in our emotions and desires, and give all the guidance we need.
“Quiet time” with God is often not nearly quiet enough. Our monologue fulfills our “duty” in prayer, but God is disappointed with the one-sided conversation. Sometimes He just yearns for nothing ~ for a silence into which He can speak. He treasures our listening ear, our wordless worship, our inner communion with Him.
10. “Thank You, thank You, thank You.”
I once heard a woman pray, Lord, for as often as we’ve asked, it wouldn’t do to say “thank You” just once. She’s right. We sometimes bring the same petition to God for days, months, even years before the answer comes. Shouldn’t we be profuse in our gratitude as well as our intercession? God’s heart is glad when thankfulness overflows our lips.
Isn’t it a privilege to be capable of bringing delight to the heart of God? And it’s the task of a lifetime discovering the many ways we can do that, in anticipation of the day when God swings wide eternity’s door and invites, “Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matthew 25:21)
About the author:
Sandy has been a freelance writer for many years and has written for Discipleship Journal, Pray! Magazine, Just Between Us and many other publications. She and her husband, Dave live in Erie, Pa.