I have never met a human that always has the right words, and if I ever do I will immediately ask them for their secret.
There will inevitably be points in our lives when words run out. Whether it is from grief or chaos or lack of understanding, the silence will feel louder than usual. It’s normal. It’s commonplace.
But when this happens in our prayers and spiritual lives? It feels anomalous, disastrous. If running out of words in everyday life is common, we should be expectant of it in our spiritual lives, not surprised by it.
When our own words fail, then it comes time to steal spiritual language from others.
Author and speaker Jackie Hill Perry put it another way:
“When it’s hard to praise. Hard to pray. Play a worship song nearby. Let them sing what you can’t say.”
If the words aren’t coming out of your own mouth or being written by your own hands, look to the words of others. Open your Bible and speak the Psalms. Turn on worship and let the words you can’t utter be sung.
Your wordless soul is not an original problem. People have been lost for words when trying to speak to God for generations. God knew we would struggle and offered comfort for His people in Romans 8:
“Likewise 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. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (vs. 26-27)”
The wordless seasons won’t last forever – they might not even last for long. But while they last, look to those around you and steal, lean on their words. Repeat what ancient Christians penned in Scripture. Sing along to a hymn.
God sees your heart. He understands. He knows. He hears your pain or heart, even if it’s spoken through others’ words.