“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. 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.” Rom. 8:26b-27 (ESV)
In today’s verses, Paul makes some critical points about prayer. First of all Paul tells us that we don’t really know what to pray for. Without the input of the Holy Spirit, our prayers will be self-centered, self-serving, and ineffective.
To pray effective prayers, we need to engage the Holy Spirit.
All too often, I have made the mistake of praying a prayer I assume the Lord would desire for me to pray. But as Paul reminds us, only the Spirit of God knows what is in the mind of God.
This means that effective prayer is not just an intellectual activity…it is a spiritual activity.
It means that if we want to become effective prayer warriors, we need to learn to connect with the indwelling Holy Spirit prior to praying.
Before we just “jump” into a time of prayer, we need to spend time seeking the Spirit and His desire. We need to submit our thoughts to Him and seek His leading in our prayer.
We need to ask the Holy Spirit to help us pray.
Paul tells us that there will be times when we won’t know how to pray. We will be deeply moved by a problem or an issue and feel led to pray…but we may not know how to start.
Here Paul gets into something that is mysterious and beyond our comprehension. Paul tells us that even though we don’t know how to pray, the Spirit does…and will intercede for us in ways that go beyond words.
Our goal is not to understand it when it happens…our goal is to trust it.
Developing the habit of prayer is like training for a marathon. It takes a lot of practice, time and work. Before each run it’s important to stretch and make other preparations before the run itself.
Effective prayer also requires the important preparation of connecting with the Holy Spirit.
Make that extra effort today…
Prayer: Holy Spirit, teach me how to pray more effectively and learn to follow Your leading.