I was recently praying with a friend from Psalm 71 when the words of verse 2 inspired my prayer:
In your justice, rescue and deliver me;
listen closely to me and save me. (Psalm 71:2 CSB; emphasis mine)
My prayer that day became “Lord, sometimes I don’t even have words to offer to You. There just aren’t any words! Holy Spirit, help me to articulate the deep sighs in my heart.”
I had never really thought about asking the Holy Spirit to give me the words in those “wordless” times of deep sighing. I know that when I can finally articulate the “ache” in my heart (and sometimes it takes time) I can begin to find freedom. Identifying the ache and being able to wrap words around it causes a spiritual lightbulb of revelation to switch on. Job 37:19 assures me that it is right to pray this way:
Teach us what we are to say to Him; We cannot present our case because of darkness. (Job 37:19 NAS)
As I end today, it is good for me to remind myself that I serve a God Who not only hears me but Who LISTENS to me! The dictionary tells me that listening is “to hear something with thoughtful attention.” And on those days when the words are not quite there, it also brings comfort to know that He hears even my slightest sighs. Martin Luther said “God is quick to catch the sigh of the heart. (Commentary on the Epistle to the Galatians, 61) J.C. Ryle wisely stated, ““Fear not because your prayer is stammering, your words feeble, and your language poor. Jesus can understand you.”
Are you struggling with words in prayer today? Fear not, friend! Join the rest of us who struggle, too. Why not ask God for the words?
Sending spiritual hugs today!