When it’s hard to pray

At Concordia, we pray with and for our students, and we teach them to pray through structured teaching on how to write a prayer in our theology classes and through modeling as we lead a group of students in prayer at the start of a class or in the context of an athletic or other event. We know that our Heavenly Father wants us to pray, and to come to Him with every need and concern, and in thanks and praise for His blessings.

While all of this is good practice, what about those times when we are confronted with a situation in which it is just too hard to put words to a prayer? Several weeks ago my husband and I were discussing a “difficult” topic, and as we concluded our talk we bowed our heads to pray … and words just weren’t there. Our Heavenly Father, who knows all of our needs, has graciously provided help for this!

  1. The Lord’s Prayer. When you don’t know what to pray, but you are still able to form words, Jesus has given us the words to say. The Lord’s prayer encompasses every topic and every concern, both physical and spiritual, in our lives. Whatever the concern, it is addressed in this prayer!
  2. The Holy Spirit prays for us. The Apostle Paul writes in Romans 8:26, “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.” When your groanings are too deep that words will not come, know that the Holy Spirit is carrying your petitions to our Heavenly Father!
  3. Christian family and friends. We pray for each other. As you share needs or concerns with trusted family and friends, know that you are also being lifted up in prayer!

Deaconess Dr. Deborah Rockrohr,
Theology Teacher