Prayer Without Words
Yesterday, I attended my niece’s college graduation ceremony. Along with hundreds of other families, we celebrated this important accomplishment of our loved ones. Just hours later though, I heard about the mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas where at least 18 children and 3 adults were killed. My heart sank. This morning, as I dropped my daughters off at school and saw all the other kids there, I had to pause. I couldn’t help but think of the terrible pain and sadness the victim’s families in Texas are going through right now. Just yesterday they were dropping their kids off at school like everybody else. And today, nothing but grief and sadness.
With the school shooting as well as the other recent shootings in mind (the supermarket in Buffalo and the church in Laguna Woods), I’ve been praying for our country, the victims, their families, and communities as I assume you are too (we will lift these things up at Concert of Prayer on Friday). But sometimes words are hard to come by. There are times when we feel such weakness or sadness or suffering over a situation, we don’t know what to pray for or how to pray. We’ve been given access to God but can’t find words to express our thoughts and emotions. At those times, the Holy Spirit steps in and intercedes for us. He communicates what we can’t do ourselves. Romans 8:26-27 says, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
When the situation is like that, and it can happen when we’re overwhelmed by our own personal circumstances as well, know that God hears the groanings of your heart. He wants to minister to us and through us. The 19th century English preacher, Charles Spurgeon says “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” In difficult times like these, even in our silence, let us come to the Lord in prayer.