Monday, April 16, 2012

The Spirit intercedes...

Week 16:
Romans 8:26-27 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.   27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
I have always felt that I was terrible at praying.  In public prayer, I could form the right words and say prayers the “right” way.  But, for me that was just so that I was looked upon as prayerful person.  I do know that there is something to be gained out of praying a prayer that ministers to others.  Many times my heart has been drawn closer to God by the prayers I have heard others speak.  However, my perceived lack of competence in my prayers goes deeper than just public prayer.  I feel that I lack the right wording or repeat the same thing over and over for God.  When I pray alone, my mind wanders, I become selfish, and I become repetitive. 
Obviously, I want to become better in how I pray and what I say.  But I will say that this passage gives me some comfort.  To know that the Spirit intercedes with “groans” to God for me is comforting.  Even if I had the right words, those words are still not God’s language.  Only the Spirit knows God’s language since the Spirit is a part of God.  Therefore, the Spirit translates what is in my heart for God.

The words are not the key here.  The heart is the key.  God searches my heart to see what it is that I want, need, desire, and deserve.  Then, he answers according to His will.  God knows where I am because the Spirit of God intercedes on my behalf.  Notice where it says, “…the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”  In some ways, it matters not what we pray or what we say.  The Spirit will intercede according the will of God.  At first, I think to myself, “I may never get what I want, what I request”.  But, with further examination, who better to lead me according to his will than the Almighty Creator?  God knows my heart…He knows what is best for me. 
So, does this mean I cease praying and cease requesting?  Absolutely not!  James 4:2b-3 says, 2b“You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”   And Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”  God wants us to ask.  God wants to have a conversation with us, with me.  And, there is some importance to my motives as I talk to God.  The heart is the key.  Where is my heart when I approach God in prayer?  If you are like me…many times I approach God with the right heart, but I just don’t know what to say.  Therefore, I become repetitive, predictable.  That is where the Spirit comes in and intercedes.  Thank God that he deposited the Spirit into our hearts when we accepted Christ and were baptized into him! 
1.       In what ways do you feel you are good at prayer?
2.       In what ways do you feel you are weak in prayer?
3.       What does your heart tell you when you hear that the Spirit intercedes for you?
4.       Do you trust the Spirit?  Why or why not?
5.       Ask God through the Spirit to reveal to you this week a glimpse into the Spirit’s working in your prayer life.  Then watch and listen.
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