Sunday, September 5, 2021

So Many Words

by Audrey Frank @AudreyCFrank

And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words (Matthew 6:7).

Think about it for a moment. In Matthew 6:7, He who is the Word (see John 1:1-3) instructs us about words. 

Just pause and let that sink in.

He who created land, sky, and sea with words, He who spoke a word and silenced the storm pauses to teach you and me how to use words.

Experts at the World Economic Forum say that by 2025, the amount of data generated each day on planet earth will reach 463 exabytes. 

What is an exabyte, you may ask? I’m still trying to remember the difference between megabytes and gigabytes. 

An exabyte is 1000 bytes to the sixth power. To put this in perspective, all the words ever spoken by humans fit into only five exabytes.

What on earth are we all talking so much about? What is the reason for so many words?

According to Matthew 6:7, one big reason is that we want to be heard.

I know this is true of myself. When I sit down to pound out my words on the keyboard, my soul rises with longing to be heard. To be understood. To write or speak words that make the world a better place.

Don’t you?

The heart of Jesus’ message in Matthew is the value of words, beginning with the words we use to talk to God.

Words written should begin with words prayed.

It is here, in the sanctum of prayer, that words find worth. Words weighed before heaven have weight on earth.

In the place of prayer, words are refined, measured, and sifted. Unnecessary words dissipate as the necessary take strong shape and form, stepping forward as agents of change in a broken world.

Pray first, write second.

The words Jesus recommends are first and foremost words spoken in secret to the Father. The phrase in secret is used six times in Matthew 6:1-18. Jesus is urging us to speak our words to the Father in secret before we stand in public. He invites us to kneel first before the One who knows what we need before we ask, to seek the One who sees in secret and rewards us for what we speak when no one is looking.

There is an invitation here. Do you see it?

If it were to arrive in your post today, it might read something like this, dear writer.

You are Invited 
To Speak in Secret 
With the Word Himself

Every Day

Attire: As You Are

Please note all who accept this invitation to the secret place will be rewarded generously with words that will change the world.

Lord, help me cultivate the habit of coming to You first with my words. Amen.


Audrey Frank is an author, speaker, and storyteller. The stories she shares are brave and true. They give voice to those whose words are silenced by shame, the hard things in life that don’t make sense, and the losses that leave us wondering if we will survive. Audrey and her family have spent over twenty years living and working among different cultures and world views, and she has found that God’s story of redemption spans every geography and culture. He is the God of Instead, giving honor instead of shame, gladness instead of mourning, hope instead of despair. Although she has three different degrees in communication and intercultural studies, Audrey’s greatest credential is that she is known and loved by the One who made her.

Audrey is the author of Covered Glory: The Face of Honor and Shame in the Muslim World (Harvest House Publishers), an outpouring of Audrey’s heart to introduce others to the God of Instead. Shame is not unique to the developing world, the plight of the women behind veils, young girls trafficked across borders; shame is lurking in hearts everywhere. Through powerful stories from women around the world, Covered Glory illuminates the power of the Gospel to remove shame, giving honor instead. Available at favorite booksellers: BARNES & NOBLE , BOOKS A MILLION, AMAZON.


  1. So often I am laser-focused on what I need/want to write, that I don't even think about praying first. I now have "Pray First, Write Second" on a post-it note on my computer. Thank you for the reminder!

  2. I really like this, Audrey. the way you started it made me look harder at what you said.

  3. Thank you for this important reminder!

  4. Pray first, write second. So simple and yet so powerful! Thank you, Audrey.

  5. Thanks for this reminder, Audrey. You mention "the value of words." Isn't it a privilege that God, who spoke the universe into being, has given us the ability to use words to create our own worlds. Wow.