Courtney Stanford is a passionate follower of Jesus and the writer of her blog, Let Every Heart. She is the wife of a worship pastor and the mommy of three little men. Courtney is an elementary school teacher on hiatus, while she is currently a stay-at-home Mommy and the keeper of a joyful (yet slightly noisy) home that she lovingly refers to as her "frat house." Whether she is leading a Bible study for women, teaching her adult Sunday School class, or writing for her blog, Courtney is an enthusiastic encourager of Christ followers, especially women and children. You can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter!
There are times…times when we don’t have the words to say at all. We have times when all we can do is simply take a deep breath in and whisper a quiet prayer, “God, please give me the words to say.”
For me, this has been a recurring prayer and God has been faithful to provide words or silence as He has required them in the unsteady moments. I don’t ever want my words to be quick and foolish…and sometimes they are…but when it matters most? Yeah. Those are the times that I would rather be silent than further hurt someone whose heart is breaking with my hasty words. Sometimes I remember to add, “Lord, help me to be silent if you want me to be silent. If not…please give me the words. Please let my words be Your Words, Father.” God meets me there.
Around here, we’re all suddenly finding ourselves in one of those seasons. My heart is so heavy. Our community is experiencing great loss…waves of loss. It is hard to know what to say to bring comfort to the hurting friends and community members. From the outside, so many of us just want to help in some way. Kind exchanges of love that come in the forms of flowers, casseroles, cards, or visits…the small kindnesses matter. Those small acts of compassion are meaningful ways to express our deep concern and care for another’s breaking heart. Still, we truly want to do more. “We just have to keep praying,” we gently whisper to each other. “Keep praying…we don’t know what else to do.” Friends, keep praying. Continue to present your hearts to God. He will meet us there.
When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. ~Psalm 61:2
I read once, in a study of Nehemiah, that we often view prayer as the thing we do when we don’t know what else to do….or as the little thing we do before we do something that feels more meaningful. In times like this, I am reminded that prayer is the real work. It isn’t just the best we can do. No. The words we say to God? They matter. He embraces His children, knows their voices, calls them by name, and listens to their hearts. God longs to hear from the depths of our hearts…even when we don’t have the words to say. He is there, and the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, and He knows our hearts even in the midst of aching despair and uncertain times.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18 NIV
Dear Lord, You alone are the Comforter. Please provide a season of comfort in the midst of deep sadness, to the hearts that are hurting. Hold them, Father. Please wrap your loving arms around them so that they know they are not alone. You are the One who brings peace. We need you, Lord. Please cover the hurt with Your faithful and peaceful presence, Jesus. In your name we pray, Amen.
God is faithful to meet His children in the pain of loss and in the darkest hours. Our God is with us, Emmanuel. We will never be alone. He is with us. His comfort is the ultimate comfort, because He is the true Comforter.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. ~Matthew 5:4
Jesus, please be so near and help our hurting friends to feel the peace that only comes from You, Lord. You are our hope. Our hope is in You, Father. Thank you for Your unfailing love and Your Gospel of hope.
May you know and feel the embrace of His mercy. May your overwhelmed heart experience His overwhelming peace.
Joining with you in prayer, especially today, and standing with you in His promise of eternal hope.
Love always, ~Courtney