Monday, January 26, 2009

When Prayer Doesn't Come Easily

Struggling in Prayer

Scripture Focus: Romans 8: 26-27

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.” NIV

Have you ever found yourself just not knowing how to pray? You may be new to prayer, or maybe you have been praying all of your life. It makes no difference. We all struggle with prayer at some point in our lives and it can be very frustrating. Often we find ourselves feeling much like the disciples did, pleading in Luke, “Lord teach us to pray!” You may feel guilty or stressed out, knowing what you want or need to say and just not being able to s-s-s-spit it out or feeling like you just can’t get your point across. Even the greatest of Apostles, Paul, struggled with prayer.

However, HOPE for your prayers is in God’s word, as Paul tells us in
Romans. The hope is we are not alone in our ignorant prayers. The Holy Spirit is with us and is interceding on our behalf!

Have you ever been to another country where you didn’t know the language? I remember traveling to Mexico City with my grandfather when I was in the seventh grade. I knew a little Spanish, but nothing that could get me by. However, everywhere we went, my grandfather, fluent in Spanish, would easily explain to the waiter, shop owner, tour-guide or whomever, my requests or questions. I couldn’t articulate my thoughts and needs, but my grandfather could.

This is how the Holy Spirit intervenes in our prayers; He is our translator.
As I studied more about this idea, I have come to treasure even more the sovereignty of God’s creation and plan. He knew our needs and provided the most adept of all helpers in the Holy Spirit!

So, what is the result of the Spirit’s intercession for us? Pastor Steve Weaver says, “The good news is that God knows the mind of the Spirit and therefore understands His unspoken groanings. Those unspoken groanings of the Spirit are intercession for us according to the will of God!” We are not alone in our prayers because the Holy Spirit is within us, constantly intermediating with God on our behalf!

So the next time you are feeling like you just don’t know the words to say, or you feel like they aren’t good enough, remember it isn’t up to you to make the words perfect. You are only asked to pray to the best of your ability in God’s will and then KNOW the Holy Spirit, as He was created by the Holy designer Himself to do, will take care of the rest!

Father, we praise your sovereignty and wisdom in creating an intercessor in the Holy Spirit. Because we are not perfect, we thank you for loving us anyway and knowing our needs before we do! Lord God, we praise you for being so much bigger than we will ever be able to comprehend in our mortal lifetime. We ask for your guidance and help in our prayer lives so that we may get to know you better and better each time we attempt to utter a prayer to you. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Other scriptures to reference:

Luke 11:1-4
Jeremiah 17:10
Hebrews 7:25-26; 9:24


  1. God also uses people like you Charla to blog about such things for others who needed to hear or read these words today.That's the Holy Spirit moving you to do this. I really enjoyed your post today, you inspire me spiritually to grow and to put my time into studying His word. That is the only way to get complete understanding of our heavenly Father.

    Thank you dear Lord for Charla, she has become a dear friend to me and we have only spoken in person once. I know you will use her in doing your will. I ask that you bless her and her family for being obedient to you. In Jesus name Amen.

  2. Great post...thanks for calling me yesterday - I enjoyed our visit. Ronnie and the boys are coming to Childress this weekend because I have the GA Lock-IN. I think Ronnie wants to see the improvements R and Z have made in the country. Love ya!!!

  3. Funny, I'm struggling with that right now. I've had a hard time lately "letting go and letting God"...just like you said, I can't quite put it into words, but I know He understands anyways.
    Love you Charla!! You have great posts!

  4. Thanks for the post we are a world of heavy hearts.

    I am so excited about my blog header. School email is just fine. Miss you!!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Hi, I found your blog via Taylor Cocker's blog and just read this post.

    It's interesting that I read this post on this topic tonight because just this morning I COULD NOT get the lyrics of Steven Curtis Chapman's song "Let Us Pray" out of my head. It was very frusturating after awhile but I couldn't help but think that God was using that as a way of telling me to pray...I had no idea what to pray for or who to pray for but I knew I needed to pray. So, right there at my bathroom sink I just started lifting everything up I could think of, everything that came to mind, hoping that I was lifting up what I was supposed to. I still have no idea what specifically I was supposed to pray for but I know God did and that's all that matters.

    Thank you for posting this. I know your blog is an encouragement to so many. :)

  7. I love those promises in Romans about the Holy Spirit. SO many times I don't know how to tell God what I'm feeling or thinking. And SO many times I don't know how to pray for people (praying for those with cancer, etc).

    It's so comforting knowing that the Spirit takes the things on my heart and explains them to God for me.

  8. i have been meaning to leave a comment... this was a great post! i really needed to read it. thanks for sharing!


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