I admit it.  I hate when people dissect every word that I say, correcting me for the slightest infraction in definition or grammar.  However, in speaking with our members, it is vital that we watch what we say.  Many people who are developmental disabilities have an uncanny way of effectively discerning our words.  In speaking about prayer, too often I say, I have to pray.  In reality, I get to pray.

When we look at it,  there is a vast difference between these two statements.  I have to…denotes obligation, demands and duty.  I get to…denotes pleasure, privilege, freedom, opportunity and honor.  This week my grandnieces are visiting me.  Together, there are three little girls, a four-year-old and two three-year-olds.  While walking to the beach and Eden slips her tiny hand into mine, I don’t have to hold her hand.  I get to hold her hand.  Early in the morning, when one of those small people slips beside me on the couch and snuggles closer to get warm, I get to sit with them.  I don’t have to reach down and kiss those little curls.

Prayer is such a privilege and our words should reflect that with our members.  When one of our teachers, Ed, prays, our members sense an intimacy with a holy God that few people experience.  Ed doesn’t has to teach that he gets to pray.  He prays and we know that we are entering into heavenly places with Ed and our God. 

The same is true with Lloyd.  His words are short.  “Dear Jesus, bless.  Amen.”   In the program, he attends regularly, people are so affected by his prayers that they have started to imitate his prayers.  No one has told the members that Lloyd prays correctly.  Our members know that Lloyd reaches God with these few and simple words. 

The transfer of words is important.  Especially in teaching about prayer, we should endeavor to communicate the value and privilege of communing with the holy and awesome God.   He loved us enough to die so he could have intimate conversations with us.