Monday, September 13, 2021by Reverend Dan on September 13, 2021
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us when we groan because we do not have the words.”
I recently witnessed one of the most earnest and heartful prayers I’ve ever experienced.
I was in the doctor’s office, waiting for a test (you know, the older I get, the more I seem to spend time in the doctor’s office waiting for tests) and the nurse came out and got me to take me in the back. As we walked down the hall, the doctor and a lady came out of a room and while he was startled at seeing me (I didn’t think I looked THAT bad), she was visibly shaken and upset and didn’t see me at all.
The doctor stopped and said to me, “We were just talking about you, Rev. Dan. Do you have a minute?” (That explained the startled look.) He introduced the woman to me, we walked into a room, and he told me he had just given her my number (I’ve told him to feel free to do that) because she had just found out she has throat cancer.
As soon as we were in the room, I asked her to tell me what she was feeling, and she looked at me, and all she could do was cry. Each time she opened her mouth, nothing came out.
I remember that feeling very well.
But I also remember clinging to today’s scripture. All too often, we mess up prayers with words. Long prayers that are long for the sake of being long. Insincere prayers that are meant to impress the listeners (except for God, you can’t impress Him. He made the world; I’m thinking it will take a lot more than some big theological words to impress Him.)
What this scripture tells me is this: as long as you can weep, God is not bothered much about whether you can pray. He hears your heart a lot louder than your words. You can say anything with your mouth. It’s your heart that He understands the best and that is the most honest. Can’t hide anything in there.
If you don’t know what to pray, that’s alright. God knows what you need. Words are optional.
Father God, hear the needs of our hearts and heal our hurts. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.