Nathan Foster in his book The Making of an Ordinary Saint talks about prayer and not having words. He was praying for his daughter when she was sick and he ran out of words. He could only cry and light a candle.
His father answered that we can only do what we can in prayer. Words are inadequate at times.
“Prayer for healing takes great energy. Don’t disregard the times when words won’t come. The Spirit works with those grunts and groans. It’s also at those times when the prayers of others carry us.”
We pray and often don’t know words. We often pray and are so overwhelmed with so many needs we feel like we’d be in constant prayer without any ability to do anything else.
We need to realize we don’t need to “say” something all the time. Nathan was given advice from a prayer mentor:
Just lift your hand up. You take the hurt you see and you lift it up to God… Just give it to him. He can hold it.
When I think of the Church in Niger, the suffering in Syria, the crisis of human trafficking, I can lift up my hand and give it to God. He can hold it.
Teach me to pray!