Typically I’m the type of person that has something to say all the time. Even when I know nothing of a topic other people are talking about, my “Jack of all trades, master of none” brain can figure out something intelligent sounding to say.
It’s not always a good thing, I’ve gotten the label of “know it all” or “too smart for you own good” from many people and groups throughout life. Gradually over the years I’ve learned to shut-up some and listen more. It’s always easier to learn more about people and show you care about them than yourself when you just put a sock in it.
I’ve also learned something else in the last few years… There are times when I literally have no sense of what to say, no idea of the right thing or even a thing to say. And I’ve learned that it’s okay to just be honest and say “I don’t know.”
I don’t know…
I don’t know is the hardest to say when I’m praying. When I’m on my hands and knees before God, lifting up people and circumstances in my life. Things I want to see changed, people I want to see healed, or things in myself that I want to change.
The other day I started to pray, and I got through one halting sentence before I stopped… And didn’t continue… And eventually said, “LORD, I don’t know what to say. I’ve got nothing.”
It’s been a trying few weeks, working, doing a lot of ministry stuff and trying to make sure everything is prepared for vacation. I felt overstressed, overworked, and spent. At that moment I was in distress. I felt it deep in my soul.
“Be gracious to me, LORD, because I am in distress; my eyes are worn out from frustration- my whole being as well.“ Psalm 31:9 CSB
I felt a lot like the Psalmist here. I have been praying for some of the same things for months, I recently had a friend who had disappeared from my life contact my family because he had severe burns and was in the hospital. There are a lot of things going on in life right now… And it’s all distressing.
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; he rescued them from their distress.” -Psalm 107:6 CSB
He wants honesty in our prayers. If He is who He says He
“In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings.” Romans 8:26 CSB
I thank God that I can be honest in my prayer time with Him. That He doesn’t set the same expectations on me that I do. He wants me to come into His presence and be there with Him.
I hope He makes this truth known to you as well.
Peace in Christ,