Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Praying With or Without Words
Have you every prayed a prayer that was wordless . . . with tears . . . lifting a burden to God with groanings too deep for words?
Of course, Jesus taught us to pray with words – words express the thoughts and feelings of our hearts. With words we express our appreciation and gratitude to God. With words we convey our sorrow for sins committed. With words we make requests for God’s blessing on others as well as for our own personal needs.
We can also pray without words – “The Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26). As the Spirit moves in our hearts, Jesus Christ finds in our hearts the motions of our non-verbalized prayers and expresses them to the Father. Praying without words like this is also true prayer.
Let’s say your computer breaks down. You’re not a computer genius, and if you’re really stuck, you phone the repair shop – the Geek Squad – to see if they could tell you what is the problem and if you could do anything about it.
You quickly discover, however, that you don’t even know how to describe what isn’t working right. You don’t know the names of the parts or what is specifically wrong. You just know you computer doesn’t work.
So the repair shop sends out a computer technician. While working on your computer, he also calls the shop. Unlike you, however, he knows how to describe what is needed. He uses words you don’t understand, but the person at the shop does, and soon your computer is repaired.
Your need is met because someone came and communicated to headquarters in words you could not express.
That is what the Holy Spirit does for us. When we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit knows precisely what we need and prays in a language the Father understands perfectly.