Have you ever had so much on your mind you needed to pray about only to get in God’s presence, you blank out or become so overwhelmed that you don’t know what to say? All your thoughts and worries seemed to have compounded over time and finally when you pray, your prayers are scattered and fragmented. It’s as if you had a jigsaw puzzle trying to piece together your thoughts, feelings, prayers, and petitions all the while it seems as if those pieces have mysteriously and quickly gone missing. Yeah, I have those moments too.
Now that I’m back in Florida after a month of traveling, life has seemed to slow down tremendously. While I’m getting back into the routine of things and STILL adjusting to the slight time zone difference, I’ll be honest and say the worries and cares I left back in Florida are slowly creeping up on me along with the other new ones that seem to be sprouting up. I’m getting better at going to God in prayer more and more. However, when I go to God in prayer with so much and on my mind and heart, I become so overwhelmed that my words doesn’t makes sense. Almost incoherent.
In my mind and heart, I have a full picture of what I want to show God from the puzzle pieces of my prayers but some may have gotten lost somewhere or wasn’t in the box in the first place. When this happens, I’m left with a timid or sheepish plea asking God to help me or I simply don’t say anything except, “Jesus…” It’s frustrating and oftentimes embarrassing.
I could remember a few times this week with my mind all over the place but having this one question, “Like WHY? Why can’t I just say what I need to say?” What seems to be like 20 minutes between strenuous praying and thought-distractions of Krispy Kreme Donuts and wondering if I paid my cell phone bill, I feel The Holy Spirit tug at my spirit bidding me to just come. Inside, I’m going back and forth with Him because in my own understanding, I’m trying to gather and put myself and the pieces of my prayer that I DO in fact have together in order to be in His presence. The Holy Spirit bids me again to come to Him.
“Come. Bring me what you have. I have the remaining lost pieces that you’re looking for. I see and understand the picture PERFECTLY.”
He’s right and WHAT A RELIEF THIS IS! I’m so glad that we serve a God that doesn’t require for our prayers to be cute and picture perfect all the time. While at times it may have its place, it’s understood, and delighted by God , there are times (such as this) where I can’t pray like I just got out of seminary. God delights in my broken, fragmented, incoherent prayers that come straight from the DEEPEST parts of heart and soul. With this in mind, I can’t help but be reminded of that scripture in Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”
We don’t have to have the ALL the pieces of our prayer puzzle together. God knows EXACTLY where they are and helps us put together the pieces. Also, for the times where we don’t have anything at all, He’s right there waiting and willing to help. Life by itself can be messed up, broken, and fragmented. With God on our side, no matter how broken we feel, how badly fragmented and incomplete it may look, He’s there waiting to hear from us in our prayers with picture perfect understanding.