1160 West Georgia Street Vancouver, BC, V6E 3H7
When You’re Not Sure How To Pray
“In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will. And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.” – Romans 8:26-28 AMP
“It’ll all work out”, people often say, or “it’s all for the best”, or “everything happens for a reason”. While all these sayings may be true or have some truth in them, I’m sure we have asked ourselves one time or another, how can I know that for sure? The reality is, we can’t, but we know the One who knows all things, and we know we can trust in Him. Yes, I’m referring to our Lord Jesus Christ. Fifty days after Jesus rose from the dead and came back to life, a wonderful gift was given to the body of Christ, to all those who would believe and put their faith in the Son of God – this gift is the Holy Spirit. We may not know what God’s will is in a particular situation and yet we have access to the Holy Spirit who does. We may not know how to pray in this pandemic season our world is in, but we can allow the Holy Spirit to help us.
Romans 8:28 is a very common verse shared with people living in uncertain circumstances, such as the kind of situation you and I are both living in today. But perhaps what is often overlooked in this powerful verse about “all things [working] together [for the] good of those who love God” is what the Apostle Paul writes just before about the wonderful role of the Holy Spirit in our lives, especially in our daily prayer life. You see, us knowing that all things will work together for our good because we belong to Christ is not just a wishful hope or a passive promise that we try to remember in challenging times, rather, it’s what we can confidently believe in because we know Who our loving God is, as we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit each day.
You could read whole books and listen to many sermons about the role of the Holy Spirit in your life, which is good and important, because we all need to better understand this vital part of our triune God, but simply put, the Holy Spirit is God in us. As the Apostle Paul writes, the Holy Spirit is meant to help us in our weaknesses, ultimately in obeying and following God, but in this case, in praying prayers that are in accordance with the will of God! Wow! We can pray perfect prayers that line up with God’s will! So then the question becomes, how exactly does the Holy Spirit help us do this?
The Apostle Paul tells us that though we may not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit understands this and thus, at the right time, He intercedes for us through “sighs and groanings too deep for words”. Remember when the Holy Spirit filled the disciples in Acts 2 and in many times after that event, believers were often given the ability to speak in other tongues or in new languages that they were not taught from young. This heavenly language was a gift for their prayer lives and it is a gift for our prayer lives too. Regardless of whether you have prayed in tongues before or not, the point here is to allow the Spirit of God to fill you and pray through you – however He does that, whether through wordless groans or an articulate heavenly language you have received already, do all this by faith and trust in your Lord God who is with you!
Countless of times I have found such comfort in knowing that when words run out for me to pray in English or when my mind cannot conceive of how to pray anymore, I can trust the Holy Spirit to guide me in praying God’s will in my life and in the lives around me. Without fail, every time I begin to pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, He brings to my remembrance scriptures of God’s promises for me. He leads me in what and how to pray next. So I encourage you today, to yield to the Holy Spirit daily as you actively pray for God’s will to be done in your life, that all things would indeed work together for your good because you are called according to His good plan and purpose!