The Holy Spirit helps me to pray - 22 July 2019

Ewald Schmidt

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Every believer experiences times when it is difficult to pray. Maybe you have also felt as though your prayers were bouncing off the ceiling. Paul mentioned that we live in an age of degeneration, and that brings a lot of challenges for the follower of Christ. There are times when we fall ill, or the people closest to our hearts suffer some affliction. We don’t always heal immediately, even though we pray so hard. We go through times when our relationships can become stormy, sometimes it feels as though some relationships will never mend again.

Some of our readers are farmers in the drought-stricken parts of South Africa, and the conditions on the farm are getting beyond desperate. Every believer knows the experience of reaching a breaking point on our journey of life. We know that things must change soon, but we just don’t see the breakthrough yet. We try to pray about our situation, but it feels as though God just doesn’t listen any more. We reach a point where our words dry up, it is just too painful to express our feelings in words. You don’t know how to put your heart’s yearning in words any more. If I cannot even find words to talk to God any more, how will he be able to grant my requests?

Our verse for today brings great relief. You are not praying alone, even if it feels like that! You don’t need to find the correct words for God to know your heart. God the Holy Spirit dwells in us. He knows our hearts, our desires, our fears and worries. Jesus has taught us that our Father in heaven knows what we need, even before we ask him (Matthew 6:8). He knows my thoughts even before I think them (Psalm 139:2). So when I am struggling along on the journey of life, I need to pay special attention to my daily appointment with God. Even if I do not have any words left to say, the Spirit will convey my heart’s groanings to the Father’s throne. He will intercede for us, our wordless groans will become beautiful prayers before God. God does hear us, the Spirit makes sure of that. This hope gives us the strength to endure.

Prayer: Thank you, Holy Spirit that you know the depths of my heart, my feelings and emotions. You know my thoughts even before I think them. Thank you for taking my broken prayers, my wordless groans, as a beautiful prayer to my Father’s throne. Help me to endure, and to trust when life is hard. Fill me with your hope! Amen

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