“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” – Romans 8:26
I lean on these two verses. They are like a rod and a staff to me. At times I am so tired that all my conscious prayers begin to blur together. In those moments, I think of these verses. I hope with these verses. And I trust that through these verses God has a word of comfort for me and for us.
The Roman’s verse has long been a favorite of mine. In moments of prayer, I often feel tongue-tied. My mind will begin to second guess whatever I say and I’ll wonder if I am praying properly. Thankfully, Jesus reminds us that God knows what we need before we even ask (Matthew 6:8). And for those moments when I struggle to find the right word, I know the Holy Spirit knows my heart. The promise of the Holy Spirit’s work during prayer is one of my main reasons for practicing silence in prayer. I want to leave space for the Holy Spirit to intercede. I want my steady breath to be in harmony with the Spirit’s sighs.
In the silence of my prayers my heart hears Christ’s call to come. When Jesus beckoned the weary I believe he is offering more than good night’s sleep (although I would definitely take that). Jesus is talking to people who were spiritually and physically hungry. His audience was exhausted by the demands placed upon them by the Romans. They were worn out from years of scanning the horizon, awaiting a savior. The rest he promises is one of fulfillment. Often we say we can rest once we finish our labors but Jesus is saying here that we can rest in his accomplishment, in his victory.
When you feel worn out from a long day, a long week, or a long pandemic, I encourage you to lean upon these promises. In them feel God’s care and love for you. Let them remind you that you are not alone on this journey. And that figuring it all out and getting it all done is not our highest calling or our greatest purpose. The Holy Spirit can help us with all of that. Our calling is to do that which only we can do, trust in God.