Most people will use the excuse “I’m just too tired” to do something that needs to be done. I’m just too tired today to mow the grass, I’ll do it tomorrow. I’m just too tired today to complete my income taxes, I’ll do them tomorrow. I’m must just too tired to cook tonight, I’ll just order something, and have it delivered. I know that that there have been times in which I did not have the physical, mental, or emotional energy to do something. Rather, being so tired, I just can’t get myself to move in any direction about anything. We might call it being exhausted, worn out, or just empty when it comes to drawing up any kind of reserve strength. During these times it feels as though we cannot take one more step.
Christians are not immune from such exhaustion as a result of the stresses and burdens that come with living in the world. As Christians, we do not possess superhero like strength by which we can jump tall buildings in a single bound. Rather, sometimes we can’t even get our feet off the ground. Indeed, this kind of exhaustion can spill over into our spiritual life and our relationship with God. As a result, sometimes I find myself too tired to even pray. I don’t know what to say to God as life has left me stunned like a boxer in a ring who has just taken the blow of a sharp undercut from his opponent. I feel stuck, dumbfounded, and speechless.
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Rome, he acknowledged the reality of sometimes standing before God speechless where words are in short supply. It is to these times that Paul confesses, “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. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Even when we cannot find the words to our prayers, we have the assurance that the Holy Spirit is intervening on our behalf to communicate our silence and loss of words to our Heavenly Father. When we are too tired to pray, the Holy Spirit can lift up our silence to God in prayer for us. God’s Spirit searches the deepest parts of our hearts and lives and brings our needs before God.
We may be too tired to pray, but God is always alert, attentive, and aware of our deepest needs. The prophet Isaiah would confess this truth when he said,
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40: 28-31)
God is never too tired to hear the prayers of his children. Even when we are speechless, the Holy Spirit is working in our lives to bring our hearts before God. We may become too tired to pray sometimes, but God is always active and engaged in our lives even when we are silent. So, when life stuns us and drains us, and our spiritual gas tanks are empty, we can trust that God will not faint or grow weary, but in God’s strength God will lift us up and causes us to mount with wings like eagles. So even when are too tired to pray, the Holy Spirit is already working on our behalf to take our weary lives and lift them to heaven.