Have you ever been so grievously troubled you were at a loss for words? Whether that trouble be an anxiety attack, the loss of a friend or family member, or depression so debilitating you felt you couldn’t get out of bed, sometimes our afflictions are so agonizing they leave us speechless. Let me tell you a little story, and then I’ll give you a couple of Bible verses which will be uplifting to you.
On April 19, 1995, domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh parked a truck filled with explosives outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The death toll reached 168 before it was all over, with nearly 700 injured. A couple of years after this horrible attack, a man came to Oak Grove Assembly of God in Springfield, Missouri (our home church at the time) to speak. I can’t even recall the man’s name, but his story glares like neon in my soul. He happened to be in Oklahoma City at the time of the bombing, and right after the explosion he was walking around the site, appalled at the devastation and trying to figure out how he could be of assistance. Suddenly he noticed a little girl on her knees, tears pouring from her eyes, covered in debris and blood. Turns out she wasn’t hurt, but both her parents were killed in the bombing. As the man got closer to her, the pleadings of her heart were being expressed in two words:
Over and over and over she plead, in tears, her little heart torn to pieces: “God, please….” more weeping, and then, “God…PLEASE!!!” She was so heartbroken, these are the only two words she could bring herself to pray.
Have you ever felt suffering so deep no words could express? I have a few friends, including Pastor Michael and his wife Tammy, as well as Ellen and Christy, who are all intimately familiar with such anguish, having each lost a son. The terror and heartbreak must be pure hell on the psyche and the spirit. I can’t imagine the horror, and my heart goes out to these friends and their families, along with anyone who has ever lost someone close to them at a young age. Most of us have lost friends or family, but the shock and torment of losing someone unexpectedly is a pain all its own.
There are times the grief and pain experienced is so raw, so intense, so overwhelming, no words come to mind. So what do we do when a wound is too paralyzing for words?
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit intercedes to God the Father on our behalf when we can’t find the words to pray.
“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will (Romans 8:26-27 AMP).”
Thus, if pain and anguish is overwhelming, just cry out, “God, PLEASE!” and let the Holy Spirit do the rest. No fancy prayers are needed.
As I’m fond of saying, “God’s got’cha covered.”