Link here to the January Challenge.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
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.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,
for those who are called according to his purpose.
For those whom he foreknew he also predestined
to be conformed to the image of his Son,
in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
And those whom he predestined he also called,
and those whom he called he also justified,
and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Romans 8:26-30 ESV
How often have you been aware of your weakness when it comes to prayer? You are asking God for something and you aren’t certain how to pray. What should I ask for? Should I ask that this person be healed from his hopeless disease or released to heaven? What does God want?
How should I pray for my child? That she will have less stress or learn to live with it as she trusts God? Should I pray that God will provide the money needed for what we think He is leading us to do? Or are we confused about His leading? Should we use the money for something else? And on and on the questions go as we wonder where and how God is leading us.
I have often found that as I pray, I have more questions about how to pray for situations and people. Of course, there is always the work God does on me as I pray and trust Him for change in one area and He brings it in a totally different way and a totally different place!
It is good for us to feel our weakness when it comes to prayer
We do feel weak and inept when it comes to prayer. But the Holy Spirit is praying for us, interceding for us as we grow. He knows what we need. He knows where the Father is leading us and what things we have to go through in order for us to learn what we need to.
The Father has a plan for us to be conformed to the image of Jesus, His Son. The Spirit is interceding for us as we grow that, this purpose will be fulfilled…and it will. He promises that in Philippians.
God’s plans for us started long before we had any awareness of Him
There is so much here to be encouraged by. We were chosen from before the foundation of the world.as Ephesians says. It is hard to imagine. Not only were we chosen to belong to God, we were chosen to be conformed to His Son in certain ways. Each of us will look like Him in different ways. It is exciting to see how He brings about His creative working in such a beautiful way within His Body.
Questions to Ponder:
- Have you ever wondered how to pray for a given situation? Do you have something now that is causing you to wonder how to pray? In what ways does this passage encourage you? Are there other Bible passages that add light to your thoughts?
- Do you see any link from the groaning in this section to the groaning talked about in last week’s section? If so, what connection do you see? Personally, I saw a tie-in to labor. In last week’s passage, the groaning is related to all of creation groaning for the final restoration of creation to what it was like at Creation…only better. This week, the labor is of the Holy Spirit laboring for us as we grow in grace each day until the day of our full restoration in glory.
- How does it help to know that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us as we pray? Do you think there is a connection to the passage in Philippians 1:6 that talks about God completing the work He has begun in us? Do you find that hopeful and why?