Wordless Prayer

The recent tragedy in Japan and the conflict in Libya have left me somewhat wordless. What can we pray? What words can we speak that adequately express the horror and sadness, the hope, the intercession, the jumble of questions and dreams and desires and confusion we have about these difficult matters?

These are times when wordless prayer — which really is a form of Christian meditation — simply is what is most natural and appropriate. We bring the matters to God. We know in those moments that God’s Spirit intervenes for us. He understands the groaning of our hearts . . . even better than we do ourselves.

Sometimes when I am wordless a cowardly part lurking inside simply wants to avoid prayer. Facing the tsunami, the nuclear crisis, the crazed dictator and military conflict in Libya — it can all seem too much. I’d rather just have a happy, hopeful day and ignore it all.

Thankfully God’s Spirit within me — and within you — call us beyond cowardice into the courageous work of prayer. And if the prayer is wordless, if it is just our thoughts and our hearts and our efforts to come into God’s presence, then it is enough. Perhaps it is even more than enough.

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