When there are no words.
I am rarely a person at a loss for words, but on occasion, something happens that is like a sucker punch to the soul. Stealing the wind, the breath, the words. This past week has taken my words. And so, giving up on trying to form words around my feelings, I’ve turned instead to praying.
We know that we can take it all to God in prayer–sadness and loss, confusion and chaos, and even ineffable silence. We can just go to God and say, “God, I don’t know what to say. I can’t put this into words.” I ask God to search my heart and mind because He already knows what I am trying to say, what I’m feeling and thinking, and He even knows what I need before I can say it.
Romans 8:18-30 reminds us that this world is subjected to frustration, waiting for the day that it is released from its bondage to death and decay. Likewise, our spirits groan as we await our final liberation and redemption. Meanwhile, we live in this tormented and frustrated world and we will encounter various trials and sufferings.
We don’t bear these alone, however. God is with us, yes, but He has given us the Spirit as well, which intercedes for us. And we also know that God is working all this together for His glory and for good for those who love Him.
The “good” in the suffering is rarely visible. Suffering feels anything but “good,” and quite often, exactly like a sucker punch to the diaphragm.
I heard it said this week that “the Bible is how God speaks to us, and prayer is how we speak to God.” God wants us to talk to him, and we do that through prayer. Prayer isn’t magical or mysterious, prayer is simply opening a line of communication with the sovereign creator of the universe. No, prayer isn’t magical. But the One we are communicating with is almighty and awesome.
So when we find ourselves here, pray.
Where words fail, prayers prevail. Even the wordless prayers.