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).
Friend to Friend
She, too, had lost her daughter, though her circumstances were completely different than my own. Her note began: “I know you are a praying woman.”
Wow. I felt honored to receive her prayer request, but my heart sank as I read the desperate details. I whispered, “Jesus, have mercy. I don’t know how to pray for this new friend. I can’t wrap my head around her situation.”
The grief washed over me on her behalf, triggering a fresh flood of personal sorrow. I found myself weeping and wishing the world wasn’t filled with suffering and despair. I dried the tears with the backs of my hands, and a sigh escaped. Then a groan.
Perhaps you’ve experienced that same kind of groan. The feeling lies deep within your soul and sometimes slips out without warning. Or maybe it seeped for a day before exploding like a strong espresso’s bitter flavor. Groans are the inarticulate sounds of pain.
The Apostle Paul knew the sound of agony well. In his letter to the Roman church, he told them he could hear the cries of the earth, for “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22). He further explained that the pain we experience in our bodies, in this world, will not stop until our bodies are redeemed in heaven. There we will experience the restoration and redemption of Jesus fully, but until then, there will be moans and groans. Things that we do not understand and cannot comprehend. Suffering and grief.
But Paul doesn’t leave us in despair, and neither does our loving Savior. When grief and sorrow gripped my heart, the Lord brought Paul’s writings to me in a beautiful way, and I clung to the words he penned all those years ago in Romans 8:26
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.”
Weak indeed. There is no weakness like that of total dependence on another. And yet it is in that very weakness when we become totally dependent on God, that He provides the Spirit as our Helper.
“We do not know what we ought to pray for,”
I honestly didn’t know how to pray for this dear woman who had written to me. The burden was too heavy for my frail shoulders. The monumental situation stole my ability to know what to ask for. But while the moment felt too deep for words, I claimed the next portion of Romans 8:26:
“The Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”
I didn’t have to have words to pray, but I could bow before the Lord in spirit, yielding to Him in my weakness. I could simply give myself to what the Spirit would have to say for me. And although no sound escaped my own lips, the Spirit of God interceded to the Father God for my friend. He knew what she needed. He knew what I needed. And He knows what you need today.
When your needs are too deep for words, may your heart be encouraged to embrace the Holy Spirit helper, whose wordless whisper speaks volumes on your behalf.
Dear Father, Words refuse to escape my lips today, and I cannot find them. Not only do they stall before reaching my tongue, those same words float around in my mind, failing to make complete sentences. They fail to join together in expressive thoughts to unite my emotions and intellect. Oh, the agony of a soul at a loss for words. Yet as Creator of the universe, You have provided. For when humanity grips my spirit with unbelievable strength, and when defeat nags my mind with unbearable vigor, the Holy Spirit intercedes for me with groaning too deep for words. You, the God who knows all, intimately knows my heart. Thank you, Father.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
How has God given you help when your pain was too deep for words? Share in the comments!
More from the Girlfriends
If you are encouraged by this devotion and especially the prayer above, you’ll enjoy Rachel’s Beautiful 31 Days of Prayers for the Heart prayer cards. “These cards are spot on when I can’t find the words.”– Savannah
© 2022 by Rachel Wojo. All rights reserved.
Only God could have given these words today…the day my first grandchild, who I raised as my own, passed away from complications of type one diabetes. Oh how many times I have groaned without words to my Savior who knows all and sees all. Her death brought both heartbreak and breakthrough. Her birthmom had been out in the drug world all of her life but is now clean and is awake to the real world and God gets all the glory. It has been four years. She would have been 27. We miss her so much but can put our thankfulness into words now. Thank you God that she and her mom are healed. We will praise you forever!
My heart aches for you. Praise the Lord for his healing. Heaven is going to be so wonderful.
So many days my broken heart can not find the words to pray. I thank God that my Father hears my attempts and prays for me.
amen and amen, Susan.
Nine months ago my sister transitioned to heaven after getting COVID (yes she was fully vaccinated.) We texted for 5-6 days as normal, even making jokes. We expected to see each other soon. But GOD knew differently and in a change of 2 days, she transitioned. I don’t remember much of the following 3 months after that. But I’m told by her children and my other siblings that I was the main support for the family…that I was such an encourager and supported to her adult children. Those months are still a slight blur. But the one thing I do remember is sharing with GIG!! Your prayers were so uplifting. There were days I DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO SAY IN MY PRAY TIME but I KNOW the Holy Spirit interceded.
Thank you heavenly Father for sending Jesus, thank you Jesus for leaving the Holy Spirit.
Oh, Sherri. Thank you for sharing your precious testimony. Amen to the Father and Holy Spirit. Lord, continue to be Sherri’s strength.
Thank you, dear Rachel, for this morning’s devotional, God blessed you to write. Your prayer is just what I am feeling and have felt. I pray God will continue to bless not only you, but all who bless and encourage from “Girlfriends In God”
In Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
Please, please put me on your prayer list as a mother who has alienate her children.
Blessings to you, Linda. May the Lord surround your heart with grace and mercy.
I so relate. The need for wisdom, compassion and understanding is so great in the lives of all the ladies around me.
My strength, courage, wisdom and wisdom all seems so lacking and yet…the Spirit always comes through.
Ours hearts are often overwhelmed with the needs and pain around us But God… provides Lord, help us to remain always open and ready to hear your voice. Thank you tha so many times we have no clue that you’ve used us. Thank you for choosing us to love and come beside the ones who are broken and wounded like us.
While we may never understand, I know that that know that you never waste a hurt.
We may never fully understand this side of heaven why we face the trials and pain we have in our lives.So thankful for the reminder that as believers our faith in God thru the Holy Spirit we have a comforter. Praying for all who have suffered pain or are suffering right now.
I agree, Paulette. I believe we must realize that all things are not comprehensible to our human minds, especially heaven. Thank you for praying; so many people need your prayers.
This is such a gentle reminder to me that the Father hasn’t left me. In my heart I know he hasn’t but the reality of grief is so crushing. My son died last April six weeks before his 3rd birthday from Leukemia. I have more good days than bad now but yesterday was one of those days-sobs, groans, and I had to pull over while driving because I was crying so hard. I know he’s healed. I know I’ll see him again. But on this side of heaven, it’s too much to bear sometimes. Thank you Lord for your Holy Spirit.
I am so sorry for your loss, Karla. I know people say that and it sounds trivial, but from one mama who has lost a child to another, my heart aches for you and I know that feeling of overwhelming grief. Holy Spirit, breathe on behalf of Karla. Sending you hugs across the miles wherever you are.
Only the Lord our savior can give you the exact words we need to hear at this time! God bless you all for hearing God! Times like this need the Holy Spirit! Peace be with you praying for the families of Uvalde, TX
Yes and amen. Thank you, Laurie!
Thank you for such a precious and timely reminder !
I lost my 28 year old granddaughter coming up on four years ago. She took what she thought was a Percocet, as it was stamped as such. It was pure fentanyl. Four times the lethal dose. She left behind three children. One of which my daughter is raising. He is eight years old.
My daughter is lost in her emotional pain. Her faith in God has severely diminished. She does not even want me to talk about Him to her.
He has been my strength through this tragedy. This email today has brought me to tears. She is sorely missed.
I am thankful that we have a Father Who we can pray to without words when the pain is so much that there are no words
Thank you for this.
I remember going through a period of intense darkness where I was mentally and emotionally not well due to being burnt out for a long period of time. All to say, there were so many moments in prayer and at church where all I could do was groan or moan and I didn’t quite know what was going on. It was like a I couldn’t pray, and a groan was all I had for prayer. I remember coming across this verse at some point (for the umpteenth time) and it dawned on me how much more I understood this verse. It wasn’t just head knowledge anymore.
Thank you for these words. I am in a deep depression and really struggling. I have noone…no family..just me, my dog and five cats..they save my life sometimes.
Your page has lifted me up so many times..your words are always perfect and what my soul needs to hear.
Thank you so very much.
Please pray for these families in Uvalde TX. I CANNOT imagine how these surviving children can feel safe again anywhere! The depth of loss is unimaginable.
Thank you Rachel for these words. I have lost everyone…parents, friends, animals..just everone and I am so alone trying to function and go on. I know we have to go on but I can’t seem to find my way. The depression is overwhelming and I’m trying so hard. I can’t hardly go to church or where’s there are peope because I get panic attacks.it seems nothing is right. I’m trying..dr, meds, walking daily but I can’ seem to pass the point of grief and loss and aloneness. My body literally aches for the lonliness. Isn’t it funny how the thing you need the most…people, friend…is the things that gives me the most anxiety. I go around people and panic sets in. I’m all alone and have noone..no family..retired..etc and thot it would be great, but here I am miserable. Then the depression and anxiety set in. I’m seeing a dr but have a long way to go. Please pray for me to be healed from this and have a normal life. I get so lonely and feel so alone. Thank you for your prayers…thank you.
I totally agree with you Kim.. My heart hurts SO MUCH for the community of Uvalde, TX. I pray every morning for GOD’s peace, comfort & strength for the parents especially along with siblings & grandparents. I hope that each family knows JESUS and will draw strength even when they can’t understand. This world is so full of EVIL now sometimes i just say
“LORD,COME NOW” .. PRAYERS FOR TX AND OUR NATION
DENISE, I am praying for you. Your name is on my prayer list. I’m praying for a miracle over you in the name of JESUS