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I flopped down, my head buried in my hands and gasped to God, “I am here…barely. I got nothing. No words. No thoughts. I don’t even know what to pray.” I just sat there. My mind, my body just too numb to move.
We all go through times in our lives where we are so physically and emotionally depleted that we have no words, no thoughts, and no energy with which to pray. We can feel like we have hit rock bottom with not even enough energy to call out to God for help.
This feeling of exhaustion can creep slowly into our lives or hit us like a freight train; one minute we feel fine, and the next we are on the floor gasping for breath. Life changes, busy schedules, addictions, tragedy, fear of the future, sin, or worry, can brutally strip away our feelings of self-sufficiency, leaving us feeling breathlessly vulnerable.
These are times when our illusions of control are shattered and we are left staring at the pieces of our lives. How do we ask God for help when we are a blubbering mess? When we have no idea how to troubleshoot the pain in our lives? How do we pray when we don’t even know what we need?
1. Remove Distractions
2. Be Present
3. Let Go
1. Remove Distractions
It can be easy when we are utterly wiped to sink into a quagmire of intense navel-gazing. You laugh but it can be so true. We can so quickly turn inward, trying desperately to find the exit out of this hole of misery.
When we are in the depths of despair (a little drama, to see if you are still with me 🙂 we can be so worn out that all we want to do is indulge in activities that numb the pain. Chocolate, longer hours at work, losing ourselves in social media, an increase of activities, you name it, we’ve explored it.
We have this idea that going to God is WORK. We feel already beaten down and we don’t have the mental energy to have a conversation with the almighty God.
Before we can even come to God in prayer we have to make a conscious decision to stop burying ourselves in distractions to try to handle the pain. Those distractions are band-aids which do nothing to heal the hemorrhaging inside our hearts.
Unlike the world, we can go to God in our agony and know that he can handle anything we put before him. Stepping away from our latest Netflix binge is a way we can actively participate in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
That means that whether we feel like it or not, broken and battered, exhausted and discouraged, we are invited to put down our empty distractions and create space for God to speak.
2. Be Present
God, in our place of utter vulnerability, gently invites us into a with God life. Jesus talking to ordinary people in Mathew 11:28-30 says this,
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
God is inviting us to learn how to rest and live life with him. We do this by setting aside distractions and THEN making the conscious decision to spend time with Jesus. Easier said, then done, right?
Even when we go to spend time with God, it can be a challenge to remain present with him. It can be so easy to move into a place of mental gymnastics, desperately trying to figure out solutions to our issues on our own.
So how can we be present with the one who is ever present with us?
Here are Some Ideas:
- Invite God into this moment. Ask for his grace to help you be with him. If you get distracted, gently pull your thoughts back towards him. This is a time where there are no expectations. You are just intentionally carving out time to be with God. No words are necessary.
- Take a walk or sit in silence with God. Notice the intricacies of creation around you.
- Pull out blank paper and colored pencils or paints. Start doodling what’s on your heart. No rules.
- Spend some time drawing words that encapsulate how you are feeling. Ask God to speak to you during this time.
- Read Matthew 11:28-30 slowly several times. Is there a word or phrase that jumps out at you? Bring it before the Lord and just sit with it. What would look like to live freely and lightly?
It can feel awkward to initially be quiet before God. You can feel this pressure like you should be doing something. But the amazing thing about friendship with God is that you can sit together in the good and tough times and find rest in his presence.
3. Let Go
When we present ourselves, the Holy Spirit is faithful to show up, often when we feel like NOTHING is happening. He serves as our advocate, confidant, and friend. When we are broken, weary, or desperately seeking relief, he goes to bat for us.
Paul in Romans 8:26-28, describes the role of the Holy Spirit this way,
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.
He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
I love how it says that the Holy Spirit ‘knows us better than we know ourselves’.
Our comfort in times of intense vulnerability and pain is that we don’t have a plan, we don’t have to find the perfect words, we don’t need to know what we need, the Holy Spirit is already at work, advocating for our good.
When we actively participate in the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives by being present with God, he is faithful to transform our pain into something beautiful. He brings about the transformation of our souls and a deeper intimacy with the Father. We live with expectancy knowing God is at work in our lives.
If you want to know how to get started in living a deep life with God; grab our Deeper Life Beginners Guide (below). And join our community of moms who are hungry for more Jesus in their lives and in the lives of their families.
What about you? What is your #1 issue when it comes to talking to God when you have no words? Leave a comment, and don’t forget to follow Most Important Work on Pinterest!
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