Read: Romans 8:26-27
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. (v. 26)
There are all kinds of situations that render us speechless. A child might do something unexpectedly hilarious. A neighbor might say something outrageous. A news outlet might publish something scandalous. In these instances, we might say, “There are no words.” We are without words.
I also find myself in moments when my emotions are too strong or my pain too deep for words to express. If prayer was only a matter of speaking the right words to God in the right way at the right time, these moments would paralyze me, because then it would be up to me to find words that would make God hear me. I’d need to find the formula for getting God to answer me. There are times when I’m too weak to find the perfect words for prayer.
According to Paul, the Holy Spirit helps us with this very weakness. We don’t have to have the perfect words. In fact, we don’t even need to use words. The Holy Spirit is able to take the “wordless groans” of our hearts and translate them into the language of heaven (v. 26 NIV). God receives the prayers that leak out of our hearts the way tears leak out of the corners of our eyes. The Spirit who bears our burdens with us bears our prayers to the heart of our heavenly Father. You don’t need to know how or even what to pray. You only need to open your heart to God’s Holy Spirit. His heart is already open to you. —Ben Van Arragon
As you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to receive your wordless prayers.
About the Author
Ben Van Arragon is a pastor, husband, and father of two teenage daughters. He has served the First Christian Reformed Church of Detroit since 2008. He writes and produces video teaching on the Bible and Reformed creeds and confessions. His writing for Words of Hope includes series on Jeremiah, Exodus, and Work and Rest.