Skip to content

Praying Without Words

For many years I have found the individual and group study resources from The Upper Room ministry to be a valued source in deepening my spiritual journey in prayer and bible study. During Lent 2020, I used their study guides to be a source of spiritual renewal. Since Easter, I’ve been reading online devotionals that are centered on enriching my prayer life during COVID-19.

My inability to find the right words led me to write about praying without words during this pandemic. The part most meaningful to me is placing my palms down to symbolize that I’m entrusting this situation to my Heavenly Father who is all-knowing and all-loving:

“When you pray, use words if you must,” might evoke some of the writings of St. Augustine concerning prayer. I don’t know about you but there are times during our pandemic siege when I find it hard to vocalize my prayer thoughts. This has led me to come up with a nonverbal way of praying.

I place my hands in a steeple pose and raise them toward the sky, thanking God for his constant love and eternal promises.

Slowly I bring my hands down to my waist and extend each hand in a horizontal stretch, asking God to shower us humans – the good, the bad, the indifferent – with his lavish love.

I then bring my hands together at my waist and bow my head, confessing my sins and asking for renewal,

Finally, I take my hands and place them facing downward, while acknowledging the issues surrounding this pandemic baffle me, and that I’m willing to leave the unknowns in his loving hands as I trust in His mercy, grace and abounding love.

I leave this sacred time expecting God to use me to be His presence to someone in need.

SUGGESTION: You can use the movements and thoughts I’ve expressed or, if you prefer, adapt the positions and/or the thoughts for your own prayer without words.

My Shepherd

My Shepherd was originally written as a eulogy to honor a friend from First Baptist Church of Rossville, Georgia, and it was published in Mature Living magazine in March 2001.  Since then it has undergone numerous revisions.

The prayer springs from deep within my inner being and is a source of growing affirmation during these perilous days of Covid-19.  My hope is it will likewise enhance your journey forward.

My Shepherd

The Lord, my Shepherd, leads me.  Sometimes we travel through lush meadows or linger by still waters.  Often we wind our way through rough terrain and I feel I can’t stand it any more.  Then, the Lord, my Shepherd, restores me.

When my soul is barren and my dreams crushed He opens for me windows of hope.

The Lord, my Shepherd, walks with me.  Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry.  Sometimes we run and sometimes we crawl.  Ah yes!  The Lord, my Shepherd, walks with me.

The Lord, my Shepherd, sustains me.  He replaces my sorrow with joy.  He picks me up when I stumble and cuddles me when I’m afraid.

The Lord, my Shepherd, is a Forever Guide.  When this life ceases He’ll whisper, “Come with Me.  The best is yet to be!”