I sat in my quiet time this morning, but the words wouldn’t come.
Have you ever been there?
You want to pray but you don’t know what to say. You have listened as people shared their stories and the things they are going through, and you can’t fix it. You have watched as our world gets a little more unkind every day, and you wonder why we aren’t doing more about that.
You see prejudice flaunted and it makes you want to weep. You see the refugee child separated from her mama, and you wonder why we aren’t telling the world how wrong that is.
So you go to God and you know that your voice is one of millions bending his ear. Yet deep inside you trust that he’s listening to each of us, and he’s near. But you still don’t know what to say.
It’s just too big. Too hard to know what to ask.
When that happens, maybe like me, the temptation is to not speak at all to this God who loves us so very much. Yet when we do that, our bottled up words swirl in our thoughts, show up in our dreams, and try to rob us of joy.
So, what can we do?
When I don’t have the words, I let the words from scripture become my prayer. I hold those sacred pages in my hands and I let them say what I cannot.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matthew 25:25-36)
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29-31)
Maybe I can’t say what is in my heart, but scriptures like these remind me that God cares about these things too and that offers hope.
When I don’t know what to do, or even know how to ask what God wants me to do, I read this next scripture and it soothes my soul.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. (John 16:13)
Suddenly, I sense the weight falling off my heart. I still don’t have words — at least, my own, but I am promised that the Holy Spirit will lead me into truth, so I will wait for direction to come and I will say yes as he leads.
I write down those scriptures in my journal. It produces the smallest of prayers.
Align my heart with yours, Lord, in these matters. Let these words guide me. Show me. Don’t let my lack of words keep me from coming to you, for you are all I need.
And this prayer is enough. For he sees my heart.
He sees yours, too.
And as his words become our prayer, he’s listening to every single word.
“Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:12-:13)
Today, will you share the scripture that is your prayer? Let’s encourage one another with his words.
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