The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8: 26

Admittedly, there are times when prayer can become a shallow recitation of wishes, wants, and desires. It also can turn into an exercise in empty yet eloquent speech. We have all heard prayer that was well crafted, written with carefully chosen words that have the just right ring of public speaking. Most of us have prayed to God out of some sense of duty or requirement and spoken relatively meaningless phrases that were structured in a manner that covered all of the bases such as address, praise, request, and closing.

I have certainly had times when I really didn’t know what to say to God, or how to begin to express what was going on in my heart. These are times when my head was a swirling and confused place filled with pain, anger, or desperation. There are times when my situation just seems trivial, and thee are others when the issues that are on my mind and heart are so big that I can’t find any words to start to express the needs. Life is like that. It is big, complex, diverse, and beyond my ability to manage it all.

Yet, prayer is very simple, for God wants us to talk to Him. He desires to hear our voices even when our throats are choked off and we can’t get a word out. The Lord listens to the uttering of our hearts, and He understands the intention of our minds even when we can’t make sense out of any of it. As God’s Spirit has come to live within us, so has His understanding of our lives. The Spirit communicates with us in ways that are beyond our limited understanding. As we travel through life with God, every moment of the day can be a time of prayer. We can talk through each situation with our Lord, and the strength and the encouragement of Christ can empower us to live courageously at all times. There are no formal words required, there are not even any audible ones needed, and we don’t have to know what to say. God understands completely, and He absolutely responds.