Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8: 26

 

Are you ever at a loss for words? Some of us can readily answer with a yes, and some people never seem to run out of words. Yet, when it comes to talking with God, the quantity of our words doesn’t matter at all, and even the nature of what we say is no longer our responsibility alone. Prayer is more personal and intimate than that. Its worth or impact cannot be measured in word counts and in its measurable reading level. Prayer is a real-time expression of the content of the heart. There is no right time of day for it or an appropriate form for it to take. Prayer is about a person’s connection to the unseen at the same time as it is about that same interaction with the entire world where we live.

 

Paul is recognizing his own weakness here. He is also talking about my weakness, for it seems that I am too often stuck in a place where I don’t really know what to pray for or about. Still, at these times, I usually feel a need to talk with God. My heart may be heavy or it may be joyous; yet, I need God’s perspective, His wisdom and truth, in order to comprehend what it is all about and to act upon that understanding in a manner that enters into God’s will for my life. Prayer is a special gift that God has given to His people, and this form of communication with Him is different from every other way in which we talk in our lives because prayer involves a conversation with a real and an engaged being that exists as spirit rather than in the flesh.

 

When we pray, we enter into the world of the mystical; so, we are required to operate out of faith. Thus, for me prayer is one of the ways in which my trust in God is both tested and increased, and it is also a practice that leads me to know my Lord in ways that are deeper and more complete than I have ever know Him before. These times of personal conversation with God can be among the most vulnerable of times in my day; yet, the Lord treats my openness and lack of understanding with great care and loving assurance. Even when I do not come away from the experience with absolute clarity about the issues at hand, I move from a time of prayer with the knowledge that I was heard and that God is engaged with me in the challenges of living life. Prayer is a time of leaning fully on God and knowing with complete confidence that He is there to hold me up.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8: 26

 

Admittedly, there are times when prayer can become a shallow recitation of wishes, wants, and desires. It also can turn into an exercise in empty yet eloquent speech, for we have all heard prayer that was well crafted and written with carefully chosen words that have the just right ring of a public speaking contest. Most of us have prayed to God out of some sense of duty or requirement and spoken relatively meaningless phrases that were structured in a manner that covered all of the bases such as address, praise, request, and closing.

 

I have certainly had times when I really didn’t know what to say to God, or how to begin to express what was going on in my heart. These are times when my head was a swirling and confused place filled with pain, anger, or desperation. There are times when my situation just seems trivial, and thee are others when the issues that are on my mind and heart are so big that I can’t find any words to start to express the needs. Life is like that. It is big, complex, diverse, and beyond my ability to manage it all.

 

Yet, prayer is very simple, for God wants us to talk to Him. He desires to hear our voices even when our throats are choked off and we can’t get a word out. The Lord listens to the uttering of our hearts, and He understands the intention of our minds even when we can’t make sense out of any of it. As Christ’s Spirit has come to live within us, so has His understanding of our lives. The Spirit communicates with us in ways that are beyond our limited understanding. As we travel through life with God, every moment of the day can be a time of prayer. We can talk through each situation with our Lord, and the strength and the encouragement of Christ can empower us to live courageously at all times. There are no formal words required, there are not even any audible ones needed, and we don’t have to know what to say. God understands completely, and He absolutely responds.

 

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

Romans 8: 26

Admittedly, there are times when prayer can become a shallow recitation of wishes, wants, and desires. It also can turn into an exercise in empty yet eloquent speech. We have all heard prayer that was well crafted, written with carefully chosen words that have the just right ring of public speaking. Most of us have prayed to God out of some sense of duty or requirement and spoken relatively meaningless phrases that were structured in a manner that covered all of the bases such as address, praise, request, and closing.

I have certainly had times when I really didn’t know what to say to God, or how to begin to express what was going on in my heart. These are times when my head was a swirling and confused place filled with pain, anger, or desperation. There are times when my situation just seems trivial, and thee are others when the issues that are on my mind and heart are so big that I can’t find any words to start to express the needs. Life is like that. It is big, complex, diverse, and beyond my ability to manage it all.

Yet, prayer is very simple, for God wants us to talk to Him. He desires to hear our voices even when our throats are choked off and we can’t get a word out. The Lord listens to the uttering of our hearts, and He understands the intention of our minds even when we can’t make sense out of any of it. As God’s Spirit has come to live within us, so has His understanding of our lives. The Spirit communicates with us in ways that are beyond our limited understanding. As we travel through life with God, every moment of the day can be a time of prayer. We can talk through each situation with our Lord, and the strength and the encouragement of Christ can empower us to live courageously at all times. There are no formal words required, there are not even any audible ones needed, and we don’t have to know what to say. God understands completely, and He absolutely responds.