Often we don’t know what to pray. Sometimes we are confused, frustrated, overwhelmed, or just nervous. Other times we might be fearful or tense.
The Apostle Paul, in Romans 8, encourages us with these words: “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 . . . pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.“ (Romans 8:26-27 NLT)
Let those words sink in. Can you think of anything more reassuring? In those times when we are most confused, God is not, and his Holy Spirit is actively praying for us, in precise harmony with God’s will. That’s pretty amazing.
So here’s what I try and do: when I’m going into meeting, struggling with a relationship, needing wisdom or suddenly feeling overwhelmed, I pray some variation of this simple prayer: “Holy Spirit, thank you for praying for me. Fill me now with your grace, your wisdom, and your love.” I pray it when I’m wrestling with an upcoming message for our church, when I’m discerning a critical decision, or when I’m experiencing conflict with one of my children. “Holy Spirit, thank you for your presence. Please come and fill me up.” I try to pray it every morning, that I may walk by the Spirit throughout my day.
This short prayer, acknowledging the presence of the Spirit in my life and asking him to fill me with his grace and wisdom and love, re-orients me when I need it the most. Whatever I am facing, I have God’s Spirit living in me, guiding me and advocating for God’s will to be done, both in my life and in the lives of the people around me. And by asking the Holy Spirit to fill me, I am more intentionally walking by the Spirit, letting him direct me rather than being misdirected my own confusion, fear or insecurities. (Read Romans 8 for more amazing truth on God’s Spirit in us.)
I’m sure you have times when you are confused, fearful or overwhelmed. Remember during those times: you have a powerful ally. The Holy Spirit, the One who pours God’s love into your heart, enabling you to call God your “Abba,” is actively praying, pleading and even groaning for God’s most amazing will to flourish in your life. No wonder we can can shout: “If our God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Is it my prayer that makes all the difference? No, it simply reminds me that the Holy Spirit’s praying for us. And his prayer, my friends, really is making all the difference in the world.