For centuries, Native American tribes have used a talking stick to allow all voices to be heard in a meeting.
During tribal council, for instance, the leading elder holds the talking stick and begins. When he is finished speaking he holds out the stick and anyone who wants to speak after him takes it.
Whoever is holding the stick is guaranteed free speech without criticism or interruption.
That’s quite honorable, not to mention a successful method for encouraging honesty and participation. It sends the message: “What you have to say is important.”
God says the same thing to you in his Word. He is attentive, and eager to listen to your honest fears, questions, doubts, concerns, prayers, and simply just something you need to get off your chest. The psalm writer takes comfort in God that, “he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:17).
There you have it. God hears. When you speak to him you are guaranteed free speech without needing to fear harsh criticism or an inattentive audience.
By his saving work Jesus cleared sin from the path of communication so that you can be transparent, open, and honest with God and not be afraid. He is your merciful Father. What you have to say is important to him.
Go to him. Speak freely. Hold a stick if you have to.
PRAYER: God, you are always more ready to hear than I am to pray. For that I thank you, and ask that I come to a greater appreciation of your availability. Help me trust that you have perfect and powerful answers for all my needs. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Psalm 55. Do you see any surprising topics that the psalm writer brings up in prayer?