One of my favorite observations about prayer comes from author Anne Lamott in her wonderful book Help Thanks Wow: Three Essential Prayers:

“Prayer means that, in some unique way, we believe we’re invited into a relationship with someone who hears us when we speak in silence.”

If we are honest, when we pray, we sometimes feel like that God must not be listening. We prayed for ACTION – healing, change of heart, change of circumstances and we just don’t see it happening. Things didn’t magically get better, the pain still exists, the broken heart shattered into even more small pieces. We feel like our prayer has gone unanswered.  Sometimes we fall silent because we just don’t know what to pray any more.

But God still hears us:

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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  Romans 8:26-27

Prayer is more than just words. God still hears us when we run out of things to say, when we are spent, exhausted and broken. God answers those silent prayers with one great reassurance: “I’m here.”

Prayer is a relationship. When we pray, we invite God in to our messy, sometimes painful, often confusing lives. That is where the miracles happen—not always outward miracles, but sometimes inner miracles like peace, faith, or resilience. When we are out of words and we “speak in silence,” the Creator of the Universe speaks for us and to us and tells us, “I’m here.”

This week, in the sermon and the GPS guide, we will reach out of our comfort zones and look at all the questions surrounding prayers that seem to go unanswered. As we do that, let’s not be afraid of our own silence and lack of words. Let’s try to listen and hear God’s certain reply, “I’m here.”

 

–Jennifer Creagar, Resurrection Prayer Ministry