"The Spirit helps us in our weakness."
- Romans 8:26 NIV
One of the things I hear from people the most is that they are dissatisfied with their prayer life. They desperately want to communicate with the Lord on a continual, intimate basis--and they long to see His hand working mightily in their life--but they feel completely inadequate to express themselves properly. God wants you to be victorious in prayer. And He's given you His Spirit to help you. The Bible says: “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us...in accordance with God's will.” (Romans 8:26, 27 NIV) Let's look at some of the “weaknesses” we can overcome if we will rely on the power of the Spirit.
First, being indifferent to prayer can hinder us from having a vibrant prayer life. I heard someone say, “God will do things when we pray, that He will not do if we don't pray.” Think about it. If we're not careful, we will miss out on some of life's greatest blessings, rewards, and opportunities--simply because we stubbornly or ignorantly neglect to ask God for them. Scripture says: “You don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:2 NLT) I confess that I'm appalled when a believer talks to me about a decision they're facing, and I ask them if they've prayed about it, and they say “no.” You can bet that they are forfeiting God's best in their situation, simply because they are neglecting to invite the Holy Spirit's involvement in the process.
A second weakness we may have is ignorance of what we should ask the Lord for. How do we properly pray about that relationship we have questions about? Or that major purchase we're considering? Or that job opportunity we're facing? When we are unable to properly express our desires, hopes, and fears, we can ask the Holy Spirit for His help, and He will “plead for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” (Romans 8:27 NLT) And as the Bible says, when we pray according to the will of God, we can be confident that “He will give us what we ask for.” (1 John 5:14-15 NLT)
Another weakness we might have in prayer is a lack of focus and concentration. God expects us to regularly set aside time for undistracted prayer and Scripture reading. But sometimes, even when we do that, we still have trouble receiving the message He is trying to communicate to us. If we will depend on the Spirit to quiet our hearts and minds, we will be more prepared--not only to speak to Lord, but to hear from Him. Ask the Holy Spirit--the “Spirit of Christ” (Romans 8:9)--to make you sensitive and obedient to His voice at all times. You will be amazed at how He answers that heartfelt prayer.
No matter what level you are at spiritually right now, you can have a more dynamic and satisfying prayer life. Get serious about applying these truths today, and watch God reveal Himself to you in fresh, new ways!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me Your precious Holy Spirit. Remind me to rely on His power--not my own--to make me victorious in prayer. Give me a deeper understanding of the importance of praying about anything and everything. Thank You that as I depend on Your Spirit, I will witness You intervening on my behalf in mighty ways!
- J. M. Farro