Prayers Where I Don’t Speak at All

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. — Romans 8:26

Thought for the Day: When we sit silent before God, the Spirit will intercede with perfect prayers on our behalf.

I had been going through some stinkin’, rotten, horrible, no-good days and was at the absolute end of knowing what to pray. I’d slipped into a habit of praying circumstance-oriented prayers where I’d list every problem and ask God to please fix them. I even made suggestions for solutions in case my input could be useful. But nothing changed. Except my waistline and the amount of chocolate life suddenly required.

In a huff one day, I sat down to pray and had absolutely no words. None. I sat there staring blankly. I had no suggestions. I had no solutions. I had nothing but quiet tears and some chocolate smeared across my upper lip. Eventually, God broke through my worn-out heart. A thought rushed through my mind and caught me off guard: I know you want Me to change your circumstances, Lysa. But right now I want to focus on changing you. Even perfect circumstances won’t satisfy you like letting Me change the way you think.

I didn’t necessarily like what I heard during this first time of silently sitting with the Lord, but at least I felt I was connecting with God. I hadn’t felt that in a long time. And so, to keep that connection, I started making it a habit to sit quietly before the Lord.

Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I sat with a bad attitude. Sometimes I sat with a heart so heavy I wasn’t sure I’d be able to carry on much longer. But as I sat, I pictured God sitting there with me. He was there already, and I eventually sensed that. I experienced what the apostle Paul taught when he wrote, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

As I sat in silence, the Spirit interceded with perfect prayers on my behalf. I didn’t have to figure out what to pray or how to pray about this situation that seemed so consuming. I just had to be still and sit with the Lord. And during those sitting times, I started to discern changes I needed to make in response to my circumstances — none of which included using food for comfort.

I think a lot of us try to get filled up with things or people. In Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, I talked about how I walked around for years with a little heart-shaped cup, holding it out to other people and things trying to find fulfillment. Some of us hold out our heart-shaped cup to food. Others demand that husbands love us in ways that right our wrongs and fill up our insecurities. Sometimes we expect our kids to be successful so that we look good and have our worth validated by their accomplishments. Or we overspend our budget on an outfit we just have to have.

Whatever it is, if we are really going to make lasting changes, we have to empty ourselves of the lie that other people or things can ever fill our hearts to the full. Then we have to deliberately and intentionally fill up on God’s truths and stand secure in His love.

The more I fill myself up with the truths of God’s love, the less I find myself pulling out that little heart-shaped cup. I have to mentally replace the lies with truth to remind myself of just how filling God’s love really is.

Dear Lord, I often don’t have words to pray. Remind me that as I’m silent before You, the Spirit intercedes for me. Please protect me from the lies that seem to creep into my mind at a moment’s notice. Help me today, Lord, to keep my mind fixed on You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Excerpted with permission from Made to Crave Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst, copyright Zondervan.

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Your Turn

Have you had a season of life (or maybe you’re there now) when you were so “done”, so overwhelmed with troubles and emptiness, all you could muster in prayer was silence? What happened in your heart in that time? Did you sense the Spirit interceding for you? He was! He is today! Has the lie that other things or people can satisfy you crept in? Today let’s remember the truth that Jesus alone can fill the God-shaped hole in our souls. Come join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you about finding our fulfillment in Him!

Lysa TerKeurst

Lysa TerKeurst is president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and the New York Times best-selling author of Uninvited, The Best Yes, Unglued, Made to Crave, and 16 other books. Lysa was recently awarded the Champions of Faith Author Award and has been published in multiple publications such as Focus on the Family and CNN online. Additionally, she has appeared on the Today Show as one of the leading voices in the Christian community. Each year, Lysa is a featured keynote presenter at more than 40 events across North America, including the Women of Joy Conferences and the Catalyst Leadership Conference. She writes from her sticky farm table and lives with her family in North Carolina. Connect with her at www.LysaTerKeurst.com or on social media @LysaTerKeurst.

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