I am right here with you. Life is overwhelming, and with continued COVID news and political tension in the U.S. and abroad, there is more chaos than ever, it seems.

I know what it’s like to not have the words to say in prayer–to not even know what it is I’m asking of God, many times.

When you’re children go off to school every morning or pack up to go off to boarding academy, you may not be sure what you’re asking when you pray for them.

When you pray for protection, do you even know what you’re asking?

When you pray that routine prayer over your meals, it may be the only one that is clearly what you want to say to God–thank you for our food. 

How do we articulate the things of the heart? The things that hurt and threaten our joy? How do we articulate the distance we travel from our darkest fears to our glorious hope in Jesus?

Too often when I pray about the real grit of life, I lose myself in my thoughts. I lose myself in anxiety and have trouble even finishing a prayer. I think to myself, God knows what I mean. He knows what I need. But I am left feeling unfulfilled with that prayer. I am left still reeling in the anguish of the day.

So, I will tell you what I tell myself.

When you cannot find the words to pray, pray the words of the Lord. We have the language to speak, found in Psalms. Prayers on every topic, prayers about every situation, fear, anxiety, illness, anguish. We have happy prayers, and sad prayers, joyful exclamations and cries of distress.

Have you ever prayed the Psalms? Have you prayed them out loud?

This is my challenge–to you and myself: pray through some Psalms this Sabbath. Pray them out loud. Pray them with a friend. Use them in your Sabbath worship service. Use them in your Sabbath School.

Pray Psalm 139 with your children.

Pray Psalm 119 with your husband or wife.

Pray Psalm 84 with your congregation or small group.

And pray them out loud. Don’t let your own muddled thought life steal your prayers. We have a great script to keep us on track when we don’t have the language for our prayers. The Word of God.

Pray it out loud.