Friday, February 4, 2011

Many Tongues

Friday is our prayer meeting in the community my kids go to school in.  We are a widely diverse group, and after a year or two of struggle to get the mothers who did not speak English well into our group, we have succeeded.

Fridays now mean a prayer meeting with many different ethnic backgrounds and languages.

Some pray quietly.  Some pray all at once.  Some sing songs while another prays.  Others just hum.  Others walk the room shouting "Hallelujah!"  Still others cry every time they pray.  Others, I think, are a little uncomfortable with the tears. Some kneel.  Some stand.  Anywhere from four to ten different languages inhabit the room at one time.

It is fun.  :)

I sat there today listening to the prayer ascending from many tongues and languages - all of us praying for our kids, for each other's kids, for our teachers, for the health and safety of those out on an activity that day.  Some languages flow gently.  Others have an unusual clicking noise as they speak.  There are the guttural, the tonal, the variety.  As I listened, the age old question of what language we will speak in heaven popped into my mind.

I know what I want.

I want to sit in heaven listening to the beauty of these different languages and cultures, but completely understanding them all.

(What is the typical style of praying in your culture group?)


junglewife said...

Love it! I completely agree about heaven - how boring if we were all to speak one language! I know that the different languages originated from sin and Babel, but I think that in heaven we will all be able to appreciate the diversity. That is what heaven will be about, right? Unity and all glorifying God together!

We only have about 3-4 different languages in our ladies Bible study here, but occasionally we will all pray in our native language. Or sing songs in our native languages. It is a beautiful thing!

Shan in Japan said...

Sounds like a beautiful time of prayer! The culture group I am in is very quiet and reserved, so sitting in chairs in a circle or around a table and quietly talking to God is our usual time of prayer. One of my goals during language school was to learn to pray in Japanese. I can do it, but, of course, still pray from my heart more flowingly in English. Oh, I can't wait to get to heaven to hear all the languages and to be able to understand them!:)