Sometimes, I wonder if others knew the real me would they be shocked or disappointed or dismayed?
My biggest worry is how others perceive my prayer life.
You see, nearly every day, I receive requests and have the privilege of lifting up the prayers of others to the Lord.
Last month, when I began my study on contending in prayer, a beloved and familiar passage of scripture took on new life for me when I read Romans 8:26-27 NLT, And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
As I looked at these passages through the lenses of contending in prayer, I learned:
I am weak in prayer
What a revelation, and a sweet relief, to read with fresh eyes how God knows I am weak in my prayer life. He knows that left to my own frail, limited, human resources my prayers lack the eternal perspective, power and fulfillment only He can provide.
I don’t know what, or how, to pray
Jesus taught, commanded, and modeled to us how and what to pray! Yet, before He died he told His followers, in John 14, I will not leave you alone. I will send you a Helper, an advocate, who will abide with you and will be in you. Jesus knew we would be weak on our own, so He sent us the Holy Spirit, for one of many reasons, to help us to pray! This just makes me want to do a happy dance, as I realize I don’t have to contend in prayer, on my own, for others!
I have a prayer Helper
It has taken me a long time, and I am still learning, to recognize, cooperate with, and call upon the Holy Spirit to help me to pray. There are times when I weep all day long. I used to fight these teary days, but I have learned to embrace these humanly unexplainable days, as I trust the Lord is using this weak vessel to pray for something or someone, somewhere. I also have sleepless nights when I strongly sense the Spirit in me is keeping me awake to pray. And, more and more, I cry out and ask the Holy Spirit to show me how and what and who to pray for.
The Spirit prays in harmony with God’s will
I confess, I am blown away that God chooses to use us, in all of our weakness, to pray. Still, He does. He knows each and every heart. Yours and mine! As He listens to our feeble and human petitions, somehow the Holy Spirit adds His power and knowledge of God’s will to our prayers, as He intercedes with us and through us, so the Father can answer these sanctified prayers. I have witnessed these divine answers again and again, and they never cease to amaze me!
There are so many times I feel weak and unworthy and unqualified in my prayer life. And, to be honest, that is when I worry, “what if people really knew me?” But, I have decided that is not a bad thing. Because God’s word says, we are weak! We cannot do it on our own. Nor should we. And praise God, we don’t have to! Because, Jesus sent us help!
So, dearest, weak, child of God, as we purposefully contend in prayer for ourselves, our loved ones, and our world, let us not neglect the precious and powerful gift of the Holy Spirit, who resides within us to help us to pray, not just our will, but in harmony with the very awesome, good and perfect will of God!