So often we think prayer is about words, about telling God our needs, asking Him for help, reviewing a list of prayer requests. Yet, prayer is also about silence. Today, let’s talk about two specific types of silent prayer and why these are so important to include in our prayer time.
Praying Through Wordless Groans
Sometimes the words just won’t come. The pain is too deep, the grief overpowering, the hurt indescribable. Times our mind just can’t process what we’re going through and we are unable to find words.
These are the times we need to pray anyway. Especially in these times we need to pray. Even when our minds can’t form the words to say.
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 NIV)
When all we can manage are wordless groans, know that the Holy Spirit can intercede on your behalf. He knows your needs, even when you can’t yet articulate them yourself. Allow yourself to sit in that silence with God and simply ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you, to know your needs and know your heart.
Listening in Silence
We also need to give God space in our prayers to speak to us. If we’re doing all the talking, we don’t give Him a chance to reply.
Take a pause in your prayers to listen, to open your heart to hear His voice. Better yet, set aside specific listening time and spend that time in silence, listening for God.
Take 15 minutes and just still your mind and quiet your inner voice. Invite God to speak to your heart and then just listen in silence. Check out this post for more tips on listening for God in silent prayer.
“Now then, my children, listen to me; lesser are those who keep my ways. Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not disregard it. Blessed are those who listen to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway. For those who find me find life and receive favor from the Lord. But those who fail to find me harm themselves; all who hate me love death.”(Proverbs 8:32-36 NIV)
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Oh yes, Kathryn. My heart resonates with those words, that invitation to silence and solitude and rest. We seem to need it more than ever, yes?
He knows. He knows.
How I crave some silence and rest in this season of my life! Have to settle for just little bits here and there, but my soul wants so much more. Hard to carve out the time to just be still with God, but so essential.
I so need to come humbly and quietly to the throne of grace! My heart wants to, but my mind often turns to other things instead of listening. Practice makes perfect, right?
I think listening prayer may be one of the hardest. Hard to sit in the stillness and just listen; harder still to expect an answer. Definitely takes practice…