Have you ever thought of why in group prayers, we use the word “just” often? “God,
…just work in the life of her,
…just give me peace today,
…just provide here,
…just place your healing hands…”
I think it’s mostly just a habit. But have you ever considered how that word automatically sets limits around our prayers and petitions? Did it start with us not wanting to ask too much of God, so we pinch our fingers together and say “just a little blessing,” “just a job that provides the basics,” “just some healing,” “just a partial breakthrough.”
During a writing critique session a few years ago, the group joked about how often I used the word just in the chapter I’d written. I think it was 11 times in the 7 pages of text. Now, I do a search for the word “just” as part of my editing process. And you know what? Most of the time it’s not needed. I can just delete it and it doesn’t change the meaning of what I’ve written at all.
And I’m certain that our God deletes the word when we pray too. He doesn’t hear the word just, he hears our hearts. Aren’t you glad that the God of the universe can edit our prayers and know our intentions without us having to edit them to perfection?
As I prayed this morning, I found myself saying “can you just … no wait, you can do so much more than just!” And as I’m speaking, I’m watching the pale gold glow of the sun rising up behind the tree tops out my window, the light spreading into the dim blue dawn, lighting up the bottoms of scattered clouds. In moments, the sun rose high enough, its light began to shine on my face, as if God’s glorious and divine fingertips were gracing my cheek and neck.
There is so much change on my personal horizon at the moment. And what is happening in our country and around the world will eventually impact how our future plays out. But no matter what, I am comforted that my God, the one who created the sun, moon and the stars and sent His one and only Son to die so we could have everlasting life — but so we could also have peace while we lived out life on this hurt and broken planet — calling us to be a ray of hope to the lost, a word of encouragement to those who need healing from wounds of all kinds.
Our God — a just God in a more powerful sense than we can even imagine!
If we learn to just trust Him, just believe Him, and just honor Him with all that we are, we will realize our prayers are anything than just words.