February 26, 2014


Romans 8:22-27

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
—Romans 8:26


Throughout my life I have been surrounded by multiple lan-guages. All the major cities in the world are now full of many languages and dialects.

I have always enjoyed learning languages, but my desire far outstrips my abilities. I have learned that language is not just about a transfer of information. Language can be tied deeply to one’s identity. It can bring out powerful emotions. Words can have the effect of a gentle caress or a powerful cannon blast. Language is often used to express the astounding richness of the webs of meaning in faith and life. Words put to music can make spirits soar. A slogan and the rhetoric behind it can rally a whole nation. The apostle James, therefore, urges us to be very careful with our words (see James 3:1-12).

But there are also times in our lives when words seem to fail. All the languages in the world cannot adequately express the joy of the birth of a child, the misery of a love lost, or the pain of the death of a spouse, parent, or child.

Yet we are not voiceless in such situations. The Spirit of God speaks for us in a way that captures our heart’s deepest pain and desire. If you lack the words to speak, know that the Holy Spirit, our great Comforter, speaks for you and intercedes for you in line with the will of God.

Lord, sometimes I don’t have words to reveal the thoughts of my heart. Holy Spirit, thank you for your care and your prayers for me. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Jason Zuidema

Jason Zuidema lives in Repentigny, Quebec, with his wife, Anna, and their three children. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and currently serves as executive director of the North American Maritime Ministry Association. He is the author of a special Seafarers edition of Today devotions published by ReFrame Media in 2012.

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