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What To Do When Life Leaves You Speechless

Beth Demme Blog Leave a Comment

Some moments in life leave us speechless. Sometimes wonder, gratitude, disbelief, or grief seem to steal our words. There are times I want to pray, but there are no words. Other times the words come, but I know they are not enough.

There are times when I am awe-struck by the beauty of creation or the gift of another day. There are moments when I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the family, and the life, I have. There are times I shake my head in disbelief over how people treat each other, or how I have treated another. And there are sob-filled moments when I am overcome with the pain of old losses and fear for losses yet to come.

Sometimes, I’m simply … speechless.

And yet, I am like the prophet Zechariah, a “prisoner of Hope” (Zechariah 9:12). I know God is love and this gives me hope beyond hope (1 John 4:8). How then do I pray if I can’t find the words?

As much as I want to use my words to communicate with God, being speechless might be the better way. In Romans 8, Paul says, “the Spirit of God helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”

Hard moments —and hard seasons—produce the best prayers.

Why? Because we get out of the way and the Holy Spirit picks up where we leave off, praying with sighs too deep for words.

What is a sigh, anyway? It is a deep exhale. Except when the Holy Spirit does it, it’s the deep exhale of the breath of God, the force that creates and renews all things. (Genesis 2:7Psalm 33:6Ezekiel 37John 20:22)

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Paul says that when we are speechless, the creative, renewing breath of God sighs in us, through us, and for us. 

What could be better than that?

What has left you speechless recently? Maybe it’s politics, maybe it’s personal, or maybe it’s both? Are you a prisoner of hope? Does it bring you comfort to know that the Holy Spirit is praying for you even when you can’t find the words? Tell me about it in the comments, in an e-mail, or on Facebook.


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