Sighs Too Deep for Words


Curled up in a comfortable old reading chair beside the morning fire in my cottage, I nudge the dogs off my lap, reach for a steaming cup of chai, and pick up Bruce and Katherine Epperly’s book, Tending to the Holy: The Practice of the Presence of God in Ministry. My morning lectio divina is a simple sentence that had caught my attention yesterday as I was reading their book: “Spiritual practices enable us to bring to conscious awareness the Spirit’s ‘sighs too deep for words’ (Rom. 8:26) that give both guidance and comfort.”Yes, I think, closing my eyes to better hear those sighs moving lightly through body and soul. Inhaling slowly, I sink into their rhythm, open my heart, and listen deeply.


A prayer rises up within, but it has no words. A part of me struggles to find them, but they’re not there. Eventually, I begin to wonder: Are they necessary? Are they ever necessary? Or is the deliberate, conscious deepening of my normal day-to-day awareness of God’s Presence the most glorious prayer of all? —Ellen Michaud

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