Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Have you ever struggled to get words out of your mouth? Sometimes you can’t remember the word for or name of something. Perhaps you’re making a presentation on a complex subject. Or maybe it’s just a tough situation where you’re trying to comfort someone. Whatever the case, the words in your head won’t come out of your mouth. Then, what comes out is a noise, a grunt, a groan. That hardly makes for good communication for most of us.
When it comes to prayer, we know God wants us to pray. But sometimes we’re not sure of the words to pray. Frankly, God doesn’t care about the words. He just wants us to trust Him by knowing He will hear our prayers and answer them in accord with His good and perfect will. Yet, often we aren’t sure what to say – which is understandable given who we’re speaking with … God!
If you happen to find yourself here, take comfort from Paul’s letter to the Romans. He writes, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)” Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit, the Helper, to His people (John 16:7-13). In Baptism, the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our souls, helping us in all things – especially our belief in Jesus and His promises to hear our prayers.
In those moments when you’re feeling distraught and all you can do is say, “UGH … ARRGH … UGH!” These are groans. We’re stuck and don’t know where to go. But, “He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:27)” Our groans are the words of the Holy Spirit making our needs known to God. And God … He completely understands. So, don’t worry about what to pray – keep groaning. The Holy Spirit will translate.
Your Brother in Christ,