The chosen tongue of despair

By Dave Henning / December 18, 2022

The groans of the heart.  You have heard them.  You have made them.  They are the vernacular of pain, the chosen tongue of despair.  When there are no words, these are the words.  When prayers won’t do, these will have to do. . . .  stormy seasons generate mournful sounds of sadness, fear, and dread.”- Max Lucado

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”- Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

In Chapter 4 (“Groans of the Heart”) of Help is Here, Max Lucado underscores that our raw appeals are entrusted into the care of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, the above passage from Romans 8 reveals the tender heart of the Holy Spirit.

Certainly, Pastor Lucado observes, we’ve grown accustomed to the mighty deeds of the Holy Spirit.  For example, fire falling on Peter or doors opening for the apostle Paul.  Yet, this other concept is of equal import.  That the Holy Spirit curates and translates the wordless prayers of the weak.  Until the tribunal of heaven hears them.  In addition, we identify with Hezekiah, who confessed:

“I moan like a dove.  My eyes are weary with looking upward.”- Isaiah 38:14 (NIV)

In conclusion, Max reiterates, we don’t know what we ought to pray for.  Especially during times of weakness, when a gap exists between what we want in life and what we get.  However, we often notice that others pray with boldness, resolve, and assurance.  Thus, it seems very hard to even utter an ‘Our Father.’  But the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.

Finally, Max exhorts:

“Your Father is more than willing to release blessings in abundance.  You have the Spirit as your advocate and your Father as your provider.  You may feel weak, but you’ve never been stronger.”

Today’s question: What Bible verses uplift you when your groans speak the chosen tongue of despair?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the Christmas Short Meditation – “A challenge as well as a promise”

About the author

Dave Henning

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