Wednesday, April 20, 2011

For the Girl Who Just Can't Pray...

Sometimes the soul sits silent. Overwhelmed by the pain that would sear too deeply if it succumbed to feeling, the soul instead goes numb. And when a soul sits catatonic in order to protect itself, the girl who houses the soul becomes figuratively paralyzed, unable to stretch uplifted arms to God.

It's ironic that then, when the soul most needs communion, it simply can't. Though the girl can undeniably feel the grace of His strength, she can't feel the comfort of His presence.

And then guilt {because she's prayerless,} adding spiritual insult to literal injury, coats the numb soul with a shell. So with a trifecta of hurt, numbness and guilt, the girl walks through the day with a pulseless soul wrapped up in a prayerless spirit. Funny and pathetic that when the girl can't feel anything else, she can still feel guilt.

And there the girl sits, right in the middle of a string of near-prayerless days yet needing it more than ever. And what do the saints do when a sister needs a hand but can't raise her own? They do it for her, raising petitions on her behalf to the One who always hears.

And what does God do when He sees that numb, broken girl who loves Him but can't always feel Him? That girl who needs to talk it out but she's gone all mute? He sends the Spirit to intercede for her, "with groanings too deep for words," because the girl is weak and just doesn't know how to pray.

But God loves that girl with an everlasting love and even prayerless days can't separate them. He loves her enough to send perfect gifts at perfect moments because He is, after all, the consummate gift-giver. His gift to her on a melancholic, prayerless Saturday was a song that expressed just how she felt but couldn't speak.

And this song became her prayer, is her prayer as she walks the hard road. She imagines Him with strong, outstretched arms reaching down to the weak, mute, limp-armed girl, saying, "Sweet child, I know you are empty and prayerless but know that I'm writing your story into my song." There is divine purpose in all of this.

So thank you, Ann, for sharing this song with us. And thank you, Christa, for writing it. It was the perfect gift for a prayerless girl. And of course, thanks be to God who lovingly gifts songs as prayers when our own words just don't come.

{Italics note lyrics in Christa Wells' song, How Emptiness Sings.}


I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago, scribbled thoughts on scrap paper and stuffed into the tangled abyss known as my purse. I almost didn't publish it because I have an annoying tendency to write only from where I am, expression pouring out of the moment. And thankfully that string of prayerless days came to an end--numbness replaced with emotion, healing, hope and finally, prayer. So these thoughts don't feel as current and worthy of expression. But maybe you're in a string of prayerless days yourself. If so, this post is for you. Know that there is One who intercedes for you.


  1. Thank you for being so open and honest. I have been there-- very recently. Prayer is still hard, I'm not going to lie. That song ministered to me as well. :)

  2. I'm glad you found that scrap of paper. And I'm glad that you're not still in the empty place. And I'm glad that you've published this visible reminder that the empty places in our lives don't last forever.

  3. thank you for sharing that, and for not holding back what we need to hear. it is a beautiful post and beautiful song!

  4. I think of you each time I hear Better Than A Hallelujah by Amy Grant. That song has been my heart's cry this entire year. I love you dear one.
    And I am one of the ones in the GAP. He see, He loves, He cares.
    You are my precious one and even more so, HIS.

  5. I opened your post into the window this morning, and am now just getting to read it this evening. I am SO glad I didn't close the window unread. I don't even know how I ended up here, or what link I followed, but I am grateful that I was able to read your words. Thank you.

  6. Dear Scooper,
    Many thanks for a timely posting and sheer beauty of words from the Spirit.
    in Him,

  7. I needed to read this. Thank you for posting it. Your description of your numb, shell wrapped, silent heart seems to express just what I've felt for weeks. I know He is near. I'll choose to keep believing till I "feel" it. Continuing to pray for you and your family. Another of my favorites on Christa's album is "Everything moves but You"


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