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.
Do you always know what to pray? Do you always have the words to express what it is that you need and feel? I certainly don’t. I’ve had experiences where I would close my eyes and wait … I always know what it is that my heart desires or an emotion that I find difficult to deal with, but I find it difficult to express this in words.
I was listening to a sermon from Mark Hodgetts , recorded in 2006, about the Holy Spirit. The way he explained who the Holy Spirit is, and the role He plays in our lives, was absolutely incredible. I’ve always known these facts about the Holy Spirit, but yesterday, Mark spoke right into my heart. He managed to answer a number of my questions about receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and I wait patiently for God to deliver these, in His good time.
Now, back to prayer. One of the ‘roles’ the Holy Spirit plays in our lives, is the role of intercessor between us and God the Father, especially when we pray. And as Romans 8:26 explains, the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. This purely means that He will help us pray when we don’t know what to pray or how to pray. Note that it doesn’t mean that He will pray on our behalf! We still have to do these ourselves. He is our Helper; Jesus Christ spoke about in John 14:16.
Mark also told the story of a man and his son who was travelling on the open road when their car suddenly broke down. The father stopped and opened the bonnet, and said to the boy that he doesn’t really know what he is doing, but he will have a look and see if he can find the problem. His son also got out of the car and said that while his dad is searching for the problem, he will go and pray.
In a very short period of time, the dad did found the problem, a loose wire, and managed to fix the car. He decided to walk over to his son to hear what he was praying. Listening, he heard his son say “a;b;c;d;e;f; …..”, the alphabet. He stopped his son and said, “I thought you were going to pray for us?” His son answered and said he is, and carried on praying the alphabet. His dad stopped him once more and said “Hey, you’re saying the alphabet, what are you doing?” His son replied “I don’t know what to pray for, so I’m sending all the letters of the alphabet to God to put it into the right sentences”
Child-like faith, this is what we should have, and should ask for! Next time you (or me) can’t find the right words, sent the letters of the alphabet to the Holy Spirit, and ask Him to help you put these into sentences for us, as our prayers to God.