“For we do not know what to pray for…”

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. Romans 8:26

I had a friend, whom I love dearly, and after the accident, she was texting me frequently asking me how she could pray for us.  Many times I didn’t respond, because I didn’t know what to say.  I didn’t know what my request would be. (I still don’t.)  I finally responded to her and said, “I don’t know what to ask for.  I just groan.  There are no words.”

Even after Tullie was born, people would try to say stuff.  “You’re such a special family, since God chose you for this.” “You’re stronger then me.  I couldn’t do it.” “Wow, she is so lucky.” The comments were mostly out of trying to comfort, but I remember thinking that they didn’t comfort.  I would just get angry.  I didn’t feel like we were special. I didn’t know why God chose us for this.  I certainly was not strong. Now, looking back and who Tullie is, I would consider us the lucky ones.

After Eli passed, our favorite card said, “There are no words, we are praying.”

This is when I started reading this section of Romans 8. I mulled these words over and over.  I did not know what to pray after the whirlwind of Mike’s mom’s passing, Tullie’s birth and diagnosis, NICU stay, my bedrest with Eli and his death after his birth.  I had no words and any words that people would say seemed trite and useless.

Now that Boston is Home, I cling to Romans 8:26, because I have no words.  When people ask what to pray I point to this verse.  There are no words.  None.  No human words that would ever bring comfort.  Nothing can bring our boy back.

The Spirit is helping us.  He is.  We know he is.  He is taking care of our needs, He is comforting us.  The comfort is not like what one would expect.  It’s more like when your body is shaking with grief and tears and somehow the crying ceases and you feel better for a moment when our oldest boy comes and wraps his arms around us, or when He uses our girls to make us laugh or look at their doll’s new outfits. The beautiful sunsets out our kitchen window and the sunsets that people share with us.

I have no words right now.  All I have is groanings.  Lots and lots of groanings.  There is joy, because we know where our hope lies, but there is also a deep and aching desire for the Lord to come quickly.  He will. In His time.  When He does there will be no more aching or groaning and our tears will be wiped away.  It will be a glorious day, and a big Partay.

He will swallow up death forever;

and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…

Isaiah 25:8a

 “For we do not know what to pray for…”

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