“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 groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
So what do we pray when we just don’t know what to pray? Friends have you ever been there? I know I have. When the situation at hand gets so intense, or so deep, or my heart feels shattered into a million little pieces, or I wonder if I will even have the strength to get myself out of bed in the morning. What do I ask God for and how do I ask Him to fix the situation? I know there have been times when I get up to have my quiet time and I sat and simply stared at my Bible and/or stared at the page where my intent was to journal out my feelings and my requests. At times like these, these are the verses that have come to my mind.
Because I have the Holy Spirit living in me, because Jesus has moved into my heart is not a guarantee that I will never hurt again or that life will always be sunshine and lollipops. But what it is a guarantee of is that I always have a help, I have the Holy Spirit as my guide all the time, but He is also my sustainer. When I am so weak I don’t know if I can go on, I know that as long as I let Him take the reins from me, that He will help me to go on. When I don’t know what to ask God for, I simply ask Him to Be God in my circumstances. And I ask the Holy Spirit to intercede on my behalf.
Look at the last part of verse 27 ~ “the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” This to me means that the Spirit always has the will of God in mind, and the will of God is always perfect! It is no accident that the next verse is the promise that all things work together for those that love God (v 28). Now I know that in this life there are things we never can fully grasp. Lord, why did someone have to die young? Lord, why did my husband lose his job? Lord, why is my kid going off the rails and not acting like he/she was raised to act? The only answer I can find for all of those and many more questions is we live in an imperfect, fallen world, and there are things that are happening that we in our minds can’t put answers to. For me, it never crossed my mind that one of my sisters would not grow old with me. Yet 4 years ago I received the dreaded call that my sister had passed away. I still don’t have the answer as to why that had to happen and why on earth it had to happen as suddenly as it did. We didn’t get to say things that we would have said had we known. But what I did receive was when my heart was so broken I didn’t know how to ask God to help me put it back together, I had the Holy Spirit by my side when I hurt, and when I cried and when I wondered when/if I would ever get to a place that didn’t feel like a black cloud was following me around.
I have other times that come to my mind where I didn’t have a choice but to turn things over and ask the Holy Spirit to take over and intercede on my behalf because I just didn’t have a clue what to pray for anymore. I am so comforted and grateful that I can do that. I was listening to a podcast the other day, it was a sermon and the preacher said “faith is not thinking everything is going to turn out like we want it to, faith is knowing that we will be alright no matter how things turn out.” Sometimes that can be a hard place to get to. It may take a few sit down sessions with Jesus! You may have to drag your burdens to the cross and lay them down one by one every day before you begin to truly know in your heart that He is working it. But even when your heart doesn’t know it, look in the scriptures and cling to the promises from God that if you love Him, He is working for your ultimate good and for His perfect will. If you are in that place today where you just don’t know what to pray, then ask the Holy Spirit to take over for you. All you have to say is “God, be God in this circumstance, Your will be done! That is a prayer that will never fail you!