What Kind of Prayer Is Your Sigh?

I always love getting emails from Chris* (not his real name). You pretty much know it’s going to be a great email because of the subject line. It normally is half a completed sentence, sounding more like the title of a great movie or book than just an email. Of course, I don’t ever get ‘just an email’ from Chris. Let me give you a couple of examples…

When The Walls Speak
Be True To The Absent
I Know You Want A Darth Vader Costume

Ok, the last one really didn’t happen. Here’s the latest one:

The Significance of A Sigh

Mark 7:34

“He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh…”

This really had an impact on me today. I tried this out. It’s like a poker player’s ‘tell’.

Insignificant times of prayer begin with words; but, significant times of prayer begin with an outward sigh.

How do you pray?

My buddy has just a couple of people on this email – an intimate group. But we all had about the same response.

Holy cow, he’s right.

I love this insight and have noticed it more in my own life. There are different kinds of sighs, each noting a time of significance.

There is the “I’m so frustrated/mad/angry/disappointed that I have no words” sigh.

There is the “Content As A Baby” sigh.

There is the “Discontent As A 2-Year Old” sigh.

There is the “Deep Thought” sigh.

The sigh. It’s like our spirit already speaking for us before we ever form a word. It’s our unconscious ‘tell’, it’s proof that what follows is not just a rambling of words but something from the deep place.


The psalmists wrote in sighs to make sure worshippers didn’t just run through the words. Of course, you can’t write in the condition of a heart.

My good friend Mari issued a challenge to me at the start of the year – to spend as much time listening in prayer as I do speaking. I think the sigh helps me with this.

Time to add the ‘sigh’ as a spiritual practice.


2 thoughts on “What Kind of Prayer Is Your Sigh?

  1. I can certainly identify with this commentary; I truly believe “sighs” come from deep within our soul. Often in joy as well as contemplation that sigh speaks volumes.


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