My best friend Nikki has a Master's Degree in "Bible" as we like to call it and I often reference her for my questions regarding understanding passages of the Bible, our faith, etc. She's my modern day Paul :) I asked her to write this for the prayer blog but in light of the recent Joplin events, I thought it would be wonderful for anyone to read. If you are hurting, fearful and lost in what/how you can even pray after all of this, this should bring some comfort. I love this scripture verse and the powerful message Nikki presents along with it:
Romans 8:26 (Amplified Bible)
So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance.
There have been a few times in my life, when overtaken by heartache, distress, anger, hurt, shock, and maybe a mixture of all of those emotions, I could not find words with which to pray. It’s in times like those, that I find immense comfort in this particular Scripture. It is the Comforter Himself (the Holy Spirit) who comes to us in our weakness and, “bears up” under us. It’s the picture again like Christ gave to his disciples about He being able to bear the yoke/burden with us. (Mt 11:28-30) This picture is of being joined with another, traveling the same direction, not working against, but with another to share the load. And in this yoking, we find rest, because we don’t have to do it alone. Christ gives us the strength to bear up under whatever path He has called us to walk. We are invited to come and find rest with Him, and we can rest in knowing that the Comforter that Jesus sent (Jn 14:26) abides with us, in those who have accepted Christ’s substitutionary death. In short, you’re not alone. Ever. Since you aren’t alone, and you have the Holy Spirit, you’re given another benefit…you have an Intercessor, (one who reconciles the differences between, pleads, petitions) the Father on your behalf. We know that prayer is our communication with God; it is how we attempt to align ourselves to His will. It is not at its core a simple attempt to persuade God to do as we wish or think best, but instead to change our minds to accept what God has ordained and will thus be for the glory of Jesus Christ and our ultimate good. Sometimes, we don’t know what would bring about either of those things. We just know that we hurt, or someone we love is hurting, and we just need God to fix it. Rest in knowing that your Father knows your heart. He obviously knows what needs to happen, and the exact steps to take, as well as the situations and circumstances to arrange in order to make this come to fruition. However, don’t allow these facts to make Him sound cold or uncaring, like He is sitting outside of your life just making decisions that affect you and your loved ones, with no thought to the suffering that it would bring. It helps me to understand that He is using situations and circumstances, not causing them to occur. It is precisely His love that is reinforced in this passage; He does care very much for the things that are concerning you. That’s why He sent Jesus to provide a way for you to spend eternity with Him. That’s why sent the Holy Spirit to abide with you, to comfort you in the here and now. He loves you like crazy, and He knows that we in our humanity can’t always find the words to pray, and if we could find them, we wouldn’t even know what to ask for. So, the Holy Spirit asks on behalf of us, when we cannot utter a word, only a groan, He asks for God to accomplish His will and bend our will to His own. Be assured that God hears, He sees you in your suffering, and He takes action…because He loves you.