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. (NLT)
Sometimes there are no words. We may be in pain, we may be utterly fatigued, we may be totally confused. We reckon we ought to pray for that situation or that person. But the words don’t come. Or if they do come, they are jumbled and make no sense. And all this may cause us to despair at our lack of prayerfulness.
Which is where this most wonderful text comes to our aid. The effectiveness of our prayers does not depend on our powers of expression or clarity of thought. It depends on the working of God’s Spirit in us. He gets the right message through to the Father even when we don’t really know what the right message is.
Of course on many occasions we do know what to pray for and find the words. We don’t kiss our brains goodbye when we pray. But for those incapable of speech or thought, those who really don’t know what to pray, then those groans and sighs and inarticulate wrestlings find some meaning. The Spirit is our great interpreter.
Prayer is meant to be a release from burdens not yet another burden. We are not to see ourselves as failures if we don’t know what to pray on occasions. Just because our words might fail does not mean our prayers fail.
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