when you don’t know what to say…

I know I talk about prayer a lot, but it has brought me through some really tough times.  When my son, Clay, was three days old and contracted Group B Strep, I found myself praying frantically and not really even knowing what to say except, “HELP!”

Then for the next 15 years of his life I would lean on God more and more, because I realized that He held my little angel in His hands.  There were times I didn’t even know how to pray.  And then there were the moments in my life that I could hardly pray at all.

I remember taking Clay in for his second G-tube placement.  His first was placed in at 5 months and now that he was 13 years old, it was no longer in the correct position since he insisted on growing!  With this surgery, we had to remove his old G-tube to prepare him for the new one.  Because Clay took so many medications, they were all in liquid form which made them easy to give….especially at three in the morning.  I could sneak in his room in the middle of the night and give him meds without him ever knowing.  It was honestly a blessing in disguise.

However, for this operation, they had to give his medications to him through his IV.  This was fine, except he could not take every medicine because some weren’t available for the intravenous lines.  So, Clay didn’t get all of his seizure medications…..and this caused him to have non-stop seizures for an entire day until I called off the surgery and demanded that they figure out a way to give him enough medication to put a halt to this non-stop seizure.

As he lay, in a puddle of sweat, his head was continuously jerking, and his right arm was suspended in the air as if being held by invisible wires.  His legs were moving spastically one direction, as his arms were moving in another.  This was the most horrific thing for a mother to watch.  I tried to crawl up in bed with him to hold his little body, but as long as he was aware of my presence, he would let out the most sorrowful moan. Clay could not communicate, but he could say, mama.  Thankfully  he could not say it now, but he could still moan and it was the most pitiful cry I had ever heard.  So the only thing for me to do was to sit by his bedside and watch, pray and cry buckets of tears.  My eyes hurt, my head hurt and there was nothing I could do.

I would close my eyes and try to pray but no words would come out.  This had not happened before.  I usually had no trouble putting my words together, but all that would come from my lips was, ‘please’.  I just remember saying please over and over again.  I know that fatigue and concern and fear had taken over my body and I just could not find words to describe my anguish. I was in a nightmare and my baby was suffering.

When the nurses finally came in and gave him an additional seizure medicine, his little body began to relax and he fell into a deep sleep, drenched in sweat.   Although I had not been able to form words of my own, I realized that God had indeed answered my prayers.

Romans 8:26-27 assures us that the Holy Spirit prays for us when we can’t even pray for ourselves.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.  For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.  Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

When we can’t find the words, the Holy Spirit prays for us according to the Will of God.  This is a wonderful promise because as we go through life we will be faced in many situations where we can’t, or don’t, know how to pray.  It is these moments that we can be certain that the Holy Spirit is praying for us.

How many times have you tried to pray and don’t know what to ask for?  This happens most often when we are in a crisis and obviously cannot see the future or how things will turn out.  Our vision is so limited.  We can only see what is going on in our own little universe, but God sees all.  Our own vision is limited also because we are a little tainted by selfishness.  How can I be sure that I am praying for what God wants?? I want what He wants because I know that His plan is far greater than mine, but I’m selfish enough to have my own desires, too.

I love verse 27 because it says God is always searching our hearts.  There is no contradiction between the Spirit in our hearts and our Father in heaven.  When the Spirit intercedes for us, He is praying according to God’s Will. So as I pray what is in my heart, I imagine the Spirit is saying, “Father, what she really means is…..”

God knows what our deepest desires are, and He knows what we need before we even ask him.  And this, my friends offers great encouragement.

So go ahead and pray.  When you are weak and when you feel desperate about the things that truly matter to you, and all you can do is cry out, “please” or whatever word is rolling off your tongue, know that our God in Heaven hears your cry because in your weakness He is strong.  When you cannot speak, He can speak for you.

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