“The Lord needs not the tongue to be an interpreter between him and the hearts of his children. He that hears without ears can interpret prayers though not uttered by the tongue.”
— Thomas Manton (1620–1677)
There is an answer to all our depths of despair, which is the safety we all need when life turns sour. There is an answer for all sorts of pain, but that answer may not satisfy us unless we are putting God first. When we put God first, our prayers of unutterable depth help us transcend our problems—and, by this, God becomes our Saviour again.
Blessed is the person who has suffered and has called alive to their God.
In our wisdom to admit our incomprehensible incapacity to deal with the lamentable torment that has expunged us of all joy and peace, we are graced with the holding, flowing, containing power of God.
The Experience of Unutterable Prayers
When we pray without uttering a word,
As indecipherable as the warble of a lone bird,
The Good Lord hears without a doubt,
And comes to us within depression’s bout.
There is enormous comfort in the expression of unutterable prayers, so long as we know beyond doubt we are in communication with God. Experiencing God is about knowing God’s Presence by knowledge. Such a knowledge we can only know. Such a knowledge is held by faith and belief in the Word of God.
Unutterable prayers are not prayers of works, but prayers of faith.
We are wrong to judge ourselves for praying insufficiently or inappropriately when the words don’t come. Eloquence in prayer is a lie of the devil, who loves to trip us up in compounding our desires of perfection.
The best of prayers come from the heart and are beyond words.
The most solemn of prayers God already knows, and all the Lord seeks is our humility in truth to acknowledge him above all else. We cannot add to the value of our prayers the sounds and nuances of words. God has already valued our prayer within the price of salvation—grace has paved the way, eternally.
The experience of unutterable prayers, within the paradigm of surrender, before the only One who can help, is eventual peace—that peace we know that transcends our understanding.
There is good news at rock bottom depth. God needs no words when we’re numb. Simplicity in prayer unfolds blessing to the heart close to God. All God needs is a heart yearning for him.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.