Sunday, October 15, 2017

Moving the Heart of God With the Prayer of No Words


A strange thought occurred to me this morning. Are there examples of praying without words in the Bible? As it turns out, there are. I read the gospel of Luke this morning, and it's full of examples of women who moved the heart of Jesus without saying a word. 

The widow of Nain is one example. The story's found in Luke 7:11-17. Here's the Leanna paraphrase: 

A widow's only son had died. In her culture, there was no social security or widow benefits. No nursing homes existed. No medicare or medicaid. Her entire future provision depended upon anything her husband had saved and her son's care for her. 

When her son died, she was grief-stricken for more than one reason. Of course, first of all, she loved her son like any mother loves. There was also the question of her future. What would happen to her now?

You may not have experienced this depth of grief before, but sometimes, it's so enormous, there are no words to say. Only tears. 

That's where the widow of Nain found herself. Weeping was the only response she could make. 

Then Jesus arrived.

News about Jesus had traveled throughout the region, so it's likely this woman had heard of His fame, His miracles, His power. A few days earlier, when her son was sick, she might have knelt before Jesus and asked for a miracle, like everyone else did.

This day, however, all she could do was cry.

Jesus and His disciples walked through the gate just as her son's funeral procession was heading out. She saw Jesus and couldn't say a word, but her tears spoke volumes, and they moved the heart of God.

Jesus saw her tears, entered into her grief, and revived her son. He "gave him back to his mother."

In His presence, she communicated with Jesus through her tears, and it was enough. 

I've been in the place of such profound grief that my only response was tears. I've been the one on my face before God, praying without words. In His presence, my tears were a prayer without words, because I gave those tears to the One who is our Comforter, and He comforted. He responded. He moved.

Do all tears serve as a prayer? I don't know. What I do know is that the widow's tears, in the presence of Jesus, were enough to communicate her need to Him and move His heart.

Whatever our situation, we can take it to Him, and He will understand. Whether we have words to describe our situation or express our need or not. Today, let's give our concerns to the Lord, and let our hearts speak for us. Use words only if we need them. 

How do I know this is possible? Because God sees our hearts.

"...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 nasb
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The picture above is of my little bedroom here in this beautiful place. In case you can't read the artwork, the lettering above the beds says "Be Still" and "and know that I am God." Exactly what I needed to hear.
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In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: When Telling Our Story Reminds Us of the Miraculous

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You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.