Have you ever wanted to talk to God about something, but your lips just couldn’t put it into words? You’re not alone. As a father walked past his 5-year-old daughter’s room one night, he proudly noticed she was on her knees in prayer. Listening in, he heard this curious prayer, “Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz,” repeated several times. When she finished, he asked her what it meant: “God is really smart,” she said. “When I don’t know what to pray about, I just say the alphabet and He figures it out for me.”

This little girl knew God better than many of us do. She understood the principle behind Romans 8:26–27 — when we pray, the Holy Spirit basically translates our prayers into words God understands. The truth is, we really don’t know what we should be praying at any given time, but God knows our hearts at all times. At the same time He is reading the thoughts of our hearts, His Spirit is praying that He would respond to those thoughts according to His will.

You may be going through pain which is so great that you can’t say anything more than “God, help me.” Your head and heart are bowed, but the words are slow in coming. Perhaps you face a seemingly overwhelming situation you have no power to control. You want to see God change your circumstances, but you can’t express exactly how you feel. The sorrow in your heart may have taken the words out of your mouth. That’s okay. God is smart enough to make sense of the silent words in your heart today. He understands your situation better than you think. At this very moment He is working out a solution that is just right for you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder