There are sometimes when circumstances are so overwhelming or frightening that I run to God in prayer, but there are simply no words. The Bible says that the Holy Spirit searches our heart and intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26-27).
Christians are not exempt from trouble. Jesus said: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33 NIV). Sometimes when the bad stuff happens, I don’t even feel like praying. But I don’t let it stop me.
When I’m struggling for words, I know that God looks into my heart. He knows what I need prayer for. God understands and responds.
In Prayerlife Revolution (https://europeanfaithmissions.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/prayerlife-revolution/) I wrote about the difficulty I had praying after my divorce. At that time, due to depression and distraction, I used a notebook to write out my prayers until little by little I was able to pray once again. And in Getting Over Myself (https://europeanfaithmissions.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/getting-over-myself/) I wrote about how I deal with distracting thoughts that intrude when I practice Centering Prayer (also known as Contemplative Prayer or Christian Meditation).
There are some times when I just don’t know what to pray, like when someone is so old, sick, or injured that even if they recover from their current health crisis, their outlook isn’t good. What do you pray? “Your will be done,” of course, but what is God’s will in this case?
When I feel overwhelmed, I get physical:
- Sing and dance – I turn on a worship song and sing along. Psalm 149 speaks of the power of singing and dancing.
- Pray written prayers – Written prayers can inspire me to pray my own prayers.
- Pray the Scriptures – I read the Bible aloud, personalizing and speaking it into my situation.
- Take a walk with God – Sometimes walking and talking clears my head, and helps me understand the situation better.
- Do a combination of the above – I sing the Scriptures, write prayers and read them aloud, plug in my MP3 and go for a singing walk, or dance my prayers, acting out in dance God’s rescue.
The point is not how you pray, but that you pray. God is good!