I spend a lot of my days driving on long, country roads. There isn’t a lot of traffic and the scenery is always the acres and acres of farmland. In the summer, the fields are green and rich with crops growing. Sometimes I’ll see the sunflower fields with their heads facing the sun. Other times the fields are bright yellow like lemons, flowering with canola. I have spent hours on these roads to reach work, church, the kids’ school and running errands. Most of the time I am alone and when I am not in a mindless mode, I look to the fields, sigh, and begin stilling my heart before the Father. Behind the wheel with the radio off, I am often wooed to prayer. I have no one to impress or pretend with. I am at my truest self. Many times, after I sigh, tears begin to gently fall. The tears remind me of my tender heart towards the Father. They remind me that I am often not strong and often very tired. With no words being spoken but with my heart turned towards Jesus, tears tell the story of where I am at that very moment. This life often feels very heavy and the walk of following Jesus is not easy. The worries for my family; the wondering if my life is making any kind of difference; the heaviness of loving when it’s not easy; the act of forgiving when the wounds are still open. Add to those cares, the pain we hear in the news; the tragedy my friends are experiencing and very quickly I know how small and not strong I truly am.
In those stilling moments, when I feel the weight on my shoulders, no words come in prayer, just tears… just a sigh.
Then in a mystery I cannot understand, the Spirit of the Living God invades my heart and mind with the reality of His very presence. I cannot explain, but in those moments on long country roads, I KNOW I am not alone and He hears me. Not my words, but my heart. He sees me and without words leaving my mouth, I KNOW He is intently bending towards me with His gracious and powerful ear.
Romans 8 confirms this truth:
“In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;” Romans 8:26 NASB
I imagine the wondrous sounds of the Spirit bringing our needs before the Father. My heart, in my weakness when the words don’t come because of the depth of my need, the Spirit knows. What a comfort this is! What a peace we have in prayer that we don’t have to come to God with our perfectly articulated words. We do not need to have our needs all figured out like we are making a sales pitch. He loves us to the depths of our unspoken needs.
Romans goes on to tell us that it is God who searches our hearts and in unity with the Spirit our needs are brought before the Father and met, according to His will. We do not even need to try and know the mind of God in all things, for in prayer, our needs are transformed into the very will of God. There’s no way to search the fathomless of God. But God uses our prayers, all messy and often unspoken to align our hearts with His. We are changed and made more into His image.
Romans 8:26-27 give us this incredible invitation to bring ourselves, our whole selves to God…just as we are. The Spirit takes it from there and uses us, in all our messiness and brokenness, to accomplish His will.
Our church has this saying, “Bring the mess.” I love that for my prayers are often messy. Yet when prayed filled with His Spirit, He takes it and makes it beautiful for His glory and His will.
He invites you today to pray and He will take it from there.
What a loving God we have!
Mary Quillin is a city-girl-turned-country-girl in her new life in North Dakota. She has been married to her hubby for 16 years and has 3 wonderfully, different kids who have begun their teen years (and she would appreciate all the prayers as possible on that note). After many years in full time ministry, Mary is learning how to show up and daily discover the journey of being available for whatever Jesus leads her to. She spends her days trying to build a welcoming shabby chic home in the heartland of North Dakota while learning to write and run.