The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us... The Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
- Romans 8:26-27 NIV
During the prayer request time at a meeting of his high school Bible Club, my son asked for prayer for his grandmother (my mother), who had just been diagnosed with a suspicious growth in her body and was scheduled for a biopsy. He was dismayed when the girl who was helping him lead the club began by praying simply that any cancer found in my motherís body would be treatable. Led by the Spirit of God, my son followed with a prayer asking that absolutely no trace of cancer would be found in his grandmother's body, and that she would need no special treatment as a result of the biopsy findings. We were all amazed when we heard a few days later that not only was my mother cancer free, but the suspicious growth in her body was a harmless mass of fatty tissue that required no further treatment. This experience taught us a valuable lesson about prayer. If we let Him, the Holy Spirit will help us to pray God's will for ourselves and others, as the verses above promise. Best of all, our Spirit-led prayers can invite God to do "exceedingly abundantly above all we dare ask or imagine" in our lives and circumstances. (Ephesians 3:20)
Recently, I read a testimony about a woman whose son was in a serious car accident and was told by the doctors that he would not survive. Overcome with grief, she prayed and asked God to spare her son's life, even if he was left severely crippled. Immediately, she was convicted by the Holy Spirit, who prompted her to pray for a complete recovery for her son. She obeyed and as a result, her son was restored to wholeness in a way that even the doctors called "miraculous." I can't help but wonder how different things would have turned out for this woman and her family if she had not been sensitive to the Spirit of God's leading. She could have easily listened to and agreed with the negative reports that surrounded her, especially by the medical experts who had examined her son. She could have caved into her fears and feelings of desperation and despair. And she could have seen the visible damage done to her son's body and concluded--as most of us would have--that he was doomed. Instead, she boldly embraced God's invitation to lay hold of a miracle for her child. I believe that, too often, we let our minds, our circumstances, or other people tell us how to pray. As a result, we often settle for less than God's best. The Bible says, "The Lord is able to give you much more than this." (2 Chronicles 25:9 NKJV) This is God's invitation to go from good to better, and from better to best in every area of our lives. Prayer is an essential part of the process and that's why it's important for us to depend on God's Spirit to help us pray. Very often, I'm prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for the "impossible." Invariably, my own spirit cries out, "But what if God doesn't answer my prayer?" The answer that always comes is, "What if He DOES?" I've decided that I'd rather ask and risk disappointment than to never know if the Lord would have used me to lay hold of a miracle for someone. What circumstances are you facing today that could use a touch of the miraculous? Today, ask the Lord to lead you in prayer, then get ready to reap an abundance of blessings!
Prayer: Lord, teach me to ask for Your guidance when I pray for myself and others. Help me to become sensitive to Your Spirit's leading by seeking You daily in prayer, praise, and Bible study. Give me the faith and the grace I need to reach for Your highest and best in every situation. Thank You that my Spirit-led prayers will bless many and glorify You!
- J. M. Farro