Sacred Sighs

“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

-Romans 8:26-27

Have you ever wanted to pray but couldn’t find the words?  Have you ever felt your soul longing for time with God but didn’t know how to draw close to God?  Paul’s words in the 8th chapter of Romans gives us hope that in those very moments, the Spirit within us is already praying and in communion with God on our behalf with “sighs too deep for words.”

In her book, Sacred Rhythms, Ruth Haley Barton writes:

“Your desire for more of God than you have right now, your longing for love, your need for deeper levels of spiritual transformation that you have experienced so far is the truest thing about you.  You might think that your woundedness or your sinfulness is the truest thing about you or that your giftedness or your personality type or your job title or your identity as a husband or a wife, mother or father, somehow defines you.  But, in reality, it is your desire for God and your capacity to reach for more of God than you have right now that is the deepest essence of who you are.”

The next time you feel that longing for God and you struggle to find the right things to say or do, just know that your truest spiritual self has already said enough.  God is with you, speaking with you, in communion with you, even when you don’t know it.  Sometimes all that is lacking in our lives is the awareness of God’s presence that is always with us.