Text: Romans Chapter 8 verses 26 and 27
The New Oxford Annotated Bible (NRSV)
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
When I pray I no longer worry about the specific words I say because I know that the Holy Spirit does my praying with me.
The Holy Spirit “helps us in our weakness.” That tells me I only have to be present and willing. I can say the words to God from my heart and the Spirit will speak on my behalf. Sometimes I have so much running through my head that I can’t stop the noise and focus on what I want to say. I find comfort knowing that the Spirit understands this and the actual words don’t matter.
The Spirit knows what to say when I don’t. He “intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” SIGH. I don’t know what to say God, I need You, I need help, I need love. SIGH. The Spirit reconciles the differences. I also can be selfish and focus only on my desires, knowingly or not. I usually don’t see the big picture, only my wants and rarely my needs.
God searches our heart and knows the mind of the Spirit. I can say the words that seem right to me and the Spirit will reconcile my words to God’s will for me. And I know that the Sprit also speaks to me to help me find the right path.
When our home was going through the foreclosure process, I clearly heard the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Some of you already know this story but for those who do know, it bears repeating.
As I was going to work one morning I saw a couple peeking through windows of a vacant house for sale in our neighborhood. I clearly heard “stop and talk to those people” and I, of course, ignored it. As I drove by I heard the voice again say “go back and talk to those people” and this time I was obedient and turned around. I got out of the car and asked the couple if they were looking to buy a house and they said yes. They were Vietnamese and didn’t understand most my questions so I called my Vietnamese girlfriend and asked her to tell them I was not crazy and I had a house for sale. When she was finished talking with them I loaded the couple into my car and took them to our home. They fell in love with the house; we contacted the mortgage company to see if they would agree to a short sale. When they agreed, we contacted a realtor to handle the details and they bought our house! This saved our credit from tremendous damage and made both families very happy.
It was a long journey to the closing however if I had not listened to the voice of the Spirit, the outcome would have been very different.
I have heard that still small voice inside talk to me all my life but I never knew what it was. I also never knew it was a gift, I thought everyone heard it. It took me many years to learn to trust that voice. God’s voice cannot go against God’s word so as my sister says, “if it isn’t biblical, it isn’t the Spirit speaking.”
The Holy Spirit that lives inside of us mediates our hopes and dreams, our fears and concerns. He helps us to accept God’s will when we don’t understand the answers.
Speak from your heart and know that the Holy Spirit that lives inside of you will make your prayers clearly known to God.