I’ve been trying to write through this season — what’s happening on both the outside and the inside, the practical and the emotional — because I want to remember all of this. But most of my writing has been nothing more than a few facts and prayers that seem inadequate for what we’re facing.
Here in this spot, the words seem to run dry. The emotions running through my heart and the news running through my mind combine to make any rational sentence impossible or if not impossible, inadequate. Thankfully that is not the end of my story here, because it’s also here that I feel the words of Romans 8:26-27 breaking through my jumbled mess.
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
-Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)
These verses remind me that it’s okay to not know how to pray about this. It’s okay to not have the “right” words to say about what we’re facing. But it’s not okay to stop praying.
We have to get ourselves to God. We have to cling to God. Even if it means not uttering a single word. Even if it means we just show up with our cracked heart and cluttered mind and sit there. Even if it looks like silently sitting or kneeling there waiting to find any words that remotely express how we’re feeling.
Matthew Henry’s commentary says it this way: “The Spirit in the heart helps, dwelling in us, working in us, as a Spirit of grace and supplication, especially with respect to the infirmities we are under when we are in a suffering state, when our faith is most apt to fail; for this end the Holy Ghost was poured out.”
We are all in a suffering state of some form right now. We’re experiencing the full range of emotions (assuming we haven’t tried to shut those down out of a desire for self preservation). As a result, we might not be able to find the words to explain how we’re feeling or what we need to pray. I sure can’t seem to, but I know the One who knows just what to say.
I know the Holy Spirit is dwelling in me, graciously interceding on my behalf. Where my words have run out and I can do nothing more than sit silently before the Lord, the Spirit is praying for me with groanings that are too deep for words.
If you find yourself in a similar spot, lost for words and overwhelmed with knowing what to pray right now, read the words of Romans 8 once more. Let them soak into your being as you come before the Lord. Just please don’t stop showing up. More than words, He wants your heart. Bring your heart. He can bring the words.