When I sat down this morning to write today's blog post, nothing came. I sat there and stared at the paper for a while, got up, did a few other things, sat back down, stared at the paper, updated the rest of the website, gave the paper a dirty look, talked to people, frowned at my pen . . . you get the idea. I'm not usually one to get writer's block, but I definitely had it this morning.
The bigger problem comes when I have the same problem with prayer. It seems like I have nothing to say to God. Those times are usually when I have the most to say: a long list of people who have requested prayer, problems in my own life, national or global tragedy, days of great joy. But at those moments, as the saying goes, I can't get a prayer above my shoelaces. The words just won't come, and I'm stuck there saying the same things over and over again with a lot of "justs" and "ums" and "Gods."
We all have times like that, I think. Times when our hearts long to be in touch with our Father, but we don't know how. All we can do is cry Abba and hope God understands what we mean. Which He does. It's at those times our souls find comfort in the words of Paul in Romans 8:26-27: "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. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God's people in accordance with the will of God." When we lack words, the Holy Spirit groans for us, knowing how our words have failed. Our prayers are perfected by the Spirit's pleas for God's will to be done on our behalf.
The next time you get "prayer block," remember that God still knows our hearts and still hears the groanings of the Spirit. Even a wordless prayer reaches the throne room of God.