Tuesday, May 27, 2008

wordless sounds and sighs

The theme of waiting continues to follow me throughout this often crazy busy life of mine. I am surrounded by stillness and beauty at all turns if I just allow myself to slow down and listen.

Even during the past week when my time away was sudden and unexpected, I was able to find peace and serenity. It was almost as if God was stalking me ☺. I am finding that when I wait without agenda, the Spirit speaks for me in ways I cannot fathom: The whisper of trees. The joy of art’s creation. Birds flying. Eagles soaring. A dog’s warm nuzzle.

I am delighted to be back home and to share a few words here. “Few words” continues to be the key for me. And part of “God’s stalking” was the following Bible verse that showed up not once or twice, but three times from three different sources last week. I think it says it all.

“The Spirit also helps us in our own weakness. For when we do not know what to say in prayer, the Spirit expresses what we mean in wordless sounds and sighs.” --Romans 8:26

I would love to know how these words speak to you. Or if you are wordless right now, a simple “hello” would be delightful ☺.

Peace, friends!

photo by lucy 5.24.08. see related post here.

11 comments:

Hope said...

"Waiting without agenda" is what spoke to me in this post. I've been practicing centering prayer since Lent began. Last week I realized I was avoiding it and through journalling realized it's because centering prayer - prayer without agenda - forces me to be present. And I still struggle, mightily some days, with wanting to be present.

I am so thankful that the Spirit intercedes for us when we are so weak that words fail us.

aselah said...

This verse comforts so because it speaks to the ministry of help that the Holy Spirit gives to the follower of Christ.

That the Holy Spirit takes part with me as i pray . . . not replacing my prayers . . . but making my weak prayers effective . . . adding to my prayers . . . is an awesome thing to consider!

Commentary in my Bible has this to say about Romans 8:26 . . .

"This promise carries deep instruction. We dare not suppose we can truly intercede effectively on the sole basis of our perspective or understanding. Since we never really thoroughly know how to pray as we ought, we must exercise the humility and faith to 'WAIT' on God and let the Holy Spirit direct us. (emphasis mine)

Presumption - supposing we already know how to intercede for others - will not only hinder maximum effectiveness, it will also cause us to miss the thrilling sense of adventure God wants to bless us with as we receive His insight and enablement for intercessory prayer.

How do we know without infinite minds whether God wants to move through us with weeping, travailing, wrestling, fasting, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, dreams, visions, mental picures, impressions, verses of Scripture quickened to us, or silence?

Only by 'WAITING' on God and giving Him time to move on and through us. Psalm 62:5 teaches this wisdom: 'My soul, 'WAIT' silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.'" (Again, emphasis mine)

What blessing has come to you thrice in the message and instruction of this Scripture! Waiting, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, your endeavors to pray.

Thrilling? Oh yes! An adventure? Absolutely!!!

He has your attention and now, most certainly, He has mine!

Thank you!

lucy said...

hope--those words "without agenda" seem like the really important ones for me these days. i have been reading more and more lately about prayer not necessarily looking like what i was raised to think it must look like (i.e. with lots of words and action). it is very freeing to consider that gazing upon a beautiful sunset or a tiny butterfly can be prayer...words or no :-)

aselah--thank you so much for taking the time to share your Bible commentary. "presumption" reminds me of "expectations." i love when i can accept what comes my way rather than expecting i know what is going to happen. a thrilling adventure indeed!!!

Tess said...

Glad to see you back, and I love the creation on you other site that relates to this.
As to the verse you share... there's something in me that is resisting it. Will have to explore that some!
Must start my morning pages again, ideal for this sort of thing, but the extra half-hour in bed has been more tempting of late!

Abbey of the Arts said...

glad you're back lucy -- I've missed you! :-) What speaks to me is the invitation to wait without an agenda, I think I need to hold that image closely and ask what agenda I have had. xoxo C

lucy said...

tess, i would love to hear more about the resistance if/when you explore a little more. the verse really spoke to me because i seem to be experiencing prayer more viscerally than verbally lately. i wonder if it is the first sentence about "weakness" that brings resistance. now that i look at it a little differently, i realize that i don't feel weak right now, just wordless. hmmm. keep me posted.

C--thanks for the welcome back :-)

yep, the "waiting without agenda" is a biggie for me right now!

xoxoxoxoxo

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Last week in the spiritual formation group that I share with 5 others, the subject of prayer being the "gift" rather than the "act" we are "supposed to be giving to God" was discussed. We also touched on the Holy Spirit's knowing and the need for few, if any, words being necessary to receive the gift.

I think the gift idea of prayer is not something I've spent a lot of time thinking about and I like the idea very much as it is an unimaginable gift we receive to just "be" and know that we are accepted and known without words.

Oh, yeah, I think you're being stalked:)....I love that about God - we can be so rude and the HS just up and fills us with those wordless sounds and sighs.

I'm so glad you're home again:)

xoxoxoxo

His Girl Friday said...

...'slow down and listen...' is what caught my attention.

nice post! :)

Sue said...

What a difference no agenda makes. I have been in too much pain the last few weeks to do anything but try and carry mine as close to my heart as I can ;)

This week, though, I am laying it down more and blessed relief. That thing has the weight of a goddamn millstone.

Good to c u Lucy :)

Gabrielle said...

This is a very good sign, Lucy, in terms of a deepening prayerlife. Have you downloaded the Fr. Thomas Dubay 13-part podcast series re contemplation off my site yet? If not, I think you would really benefit at this point from listening to his teachings about why this is happening, what it indicates, and the importance of staying open to how the Holy Spirit is working in you now. If you think you'd like to, just click on podcasts in my categories, and the proper post should pop up with all my download links.

Barbara said...

hello
I am asking much the same questions these days. I need some rhythm in my life, some gentle structure to free my spirit.
As a monk advised me (somewhat tritely), go with the flow.