“God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.” Richard Sibbes I woke up about an hour and a half early this morning, with a need to pray. Now this doesn’t happen to me very often. I don’t often sense that I am called to pray at a certain moment or in the middle of the night. But I woke up in a fog of worry and pressing fear, and I knew the answer was to pray. But for what?
Oh, there are many things that I pray about or could pray about. And in the morning during my disciplines, I pray a fairly orderly prayer that contains things such as praise and adoration, confession and supplication and intercession. But my mind and soul were to weak to begin walking through my disciplines for the day. I didn’t know what to say to God. I just knew my heart was aching over a couple of different things, and it was worried about many things. Irrational worry, but worry nonetheless. Confusion over certain situations that pierce my soul. Things that I just don’t understand, try as I might. I was unsettled and reluctant to pray.
I write out most of my prayers, yet I didn’t have words to put on the paper this morning–a disconcerting phenomenon for me. All I could do was to sit here and say “Jesus help me.” As strange as this may sound, I must have said it at least a dozen times. Somewhere in there, I remembered the quote above by Richard Sibbes: “God can pick sense out of a confused prayer.” My prayer was both confused and wordless.
What do I mean by wordless? The words wouldn’t come, though the compelling force of a need to pray was present and strong. Once I remembered that quote, my mind went on to think about all the times in the Bible where it says that Jesus intercedes for us. I started looking them up and landed on one I’d not really seen before, found in Hebrews 7:25:
I’m not sure what the connection is between Jesus’ ability to save and his living to make intercession for those who draw near to God through Him. I need to study that more. Nevertheless, I found great a sense of calmness in this verse. The idea of drawing near to God through my Jesus reminds me that even here in the dark, alone, I am not alone. God is near, even when I can’t sense His presence. He is near!
And Jesus lives to make intercession for me. For you. For those that seek to draw near to God. When I say I live to raise my children, I mean that much of my life is centered around doing so. I wonder if this verse means the same thing, that Jesus lives to make intercession–that much of His work right now is intercession on our behalf?
“God can pick sense out of a confused prayer” says Richard Sibbes. Yes–He can make sense out of my senseless, confused prayer. But I think God must also be able to pick sense out of a prayer that is so deep-seated that it contains no words. And even now, as I lay here, I sense my soul crying out to the God of all creation with no words but the offering of an aching soul in the midst of this broken, senseless life, knowing full well that God hears my plea and understands it better than I do myself. And that he can make sense of this life and use it to glorify Him. And I guess, ultimately, that is my prayer. That He who intercedes on my behalf will take my many mistakes and just the sheer consequences of my life, and make it into something that pleases and glorifies my God.