Have you ever felt stuck, unsure, or insecure about what to say or how to pray to God? In other words, have you ever been “without words” when approaching God? I have been there. Sometimes we think we have to come to Him with lot’s of words, or big fancy eloquent words to grab His attention in prayer. Yes, verbally praying is a huge part of the Christian walk, but there are times that it’s not even about what you say to God that’s important. Sometimes all you need is to surrender at His feet with a repentant heart and/or sincere heart to get His attention and simply adore Him with wordless worship. Wordless worship I define as this: you may have no words to express yourself to Him at the moment, but you just reverence and worship Him in spirit and in truth, and you are left without words in humble adoration of who He is and what He has done in your life. The King of the universe is your Father and you are at His feet in silent worship expecting and waiting to meet with Him and being in His presence.
You see, it was the wordless worship of a nameless women in the bible that captivated and captured the attention of Jesus’ heart. The story in the bible goes like this: “When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, He went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, He would know who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.” (Luke 7 vs 36-39). In response to what this judgemental Pharisee says about this “sinful” woman, Jesus gives the Pharisee one of His awesome parables. After that Jesus turns toward the woman and said to Simon the Pharisee, “Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” You can read the entire story in (Luke 7: 36-50).
I could imagine all of these self-righteous religious leaders gathered at Simon the Pharisees home looking down at this uninvited guest and “sinful” women in judgement and disgust questioning why Jesus would even acknowledge and regard her presence in the room, but Jesus looked at her through the eyes of love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. While Simon in all his hypocrisy saw a sinful prostitute in his home, Jesus saw her sordid past, her humble present, and her glorious future. This nameless women put herself out there with her radical faith and desperation. She knew she needed to meet with Jesus no matter the cost and no matter the judgement of those around her. She had led a very sinful life and she was desperate for an encounter with Jesus, so when she learned where He was going to be, she quickly got her alabaster jar with expensive perfume inside it and went to meet with Him. She wanted to give Jesus her best worship, so if it meant using up her costly perfume, she would use it. This nameless woman didn’t have big fancy words to say, but she had her worship, her repentant heart, and her tears. Oh, did she have tears. She didn’t need any words to capture the attention and heart of Jesus. She was without words as she bowed down at His feet wetting His feet with her tears, loving on Him, worshipping Him, wiping her tears from His feet with her hair, kissing His feet in adoration, and I’m more than sure she was just relieved to finally be in His presence. What an emotional imagery of true worship this is for all of us. In the end, Jesus tells her the words she had been longing to hear, “your sins are forgiven, your faith has saved you, and go in peace. Those words are so powerful! Imagine how relieved and elated she was to finally hear those precious words. How filled with joy she must have been, and how much lighter she must have felt as she was forgiven of her many sins by her Savior. The burdens of her sins that she had been carrying around for God knows how long were finally gone. The bible says “He will have compassion on us; He will tread our sins under foot. Yes, You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19).
I began to weep as I studied this passage in scripture because this nameless women in the bible reminded me so much of myself years ago during a time in my life when I had strayed so far away from God for several years. I felt so dry, empty, and desperate for Jesus to fill my inner void once again and I came crawling back to Jesus so broken. So desperate. I was longing and yearning for an encounter with Him once again. Trust me, I didn’t have many words to say to Him at the time, but I had my wordless worship. I was weeping before Him in repentance and I just wanted Him to fill my soul with more of Him and less of me. I wanted Him to forgive me and cleanse me of all my sins because my burdens were too great to carry around any longer. I didn’t have much to offer Him except my brokenness and my willingness to make and get things right in my life once and for all. I was sick and tired of living an empty life to please myself, not to please God. Have you ever been there? It’s an awful place to be. But thank God that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). I wept and worshipped until I heard the sweet sound of His voice tell me your sins are forgiven daughter. Go in peace, your faith has saved you, go and sin no more! He renewed me, restored me, and refreshed me in His glorious presence! This happened 9 years ago and I haven’t been the same woman since.
It is so beautiful to see that this nameless women in the bible that seemed so insignificant to the arrogant Pharisees, was so unbelievably significant and important in the sight of Jesus. This woman who others viewed as a low life worthless sinner so “beneath” them, was so relevant and precious in the sight of Jesus. Ladies, Don’t ever forget your value or your self-worth. Don’t ever forget how truly special, unique, and precious you are in the sight of God. Don’t let anyone look down at you or ever accuse you of your past. Remember, you don’t live there anymore. Jesus makes all things new in His perfect time and what a gift that truly is! “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).
With love, hope, and faith,