January 29, 2019
When you don’t know what to pray
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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26–27, NIV).
Friend to Friend
There are times when my heart is so weary from the struggle my lips can’t string a sentence together. My husband’s work has been stressful and sometimes he brings it home. The children’s learning challenges have been challenging, finances have been tight, I’ve said yes to too many things, I’m tired, and there’s a diagnosis I still can’t wrap my mind around.
Prayer. I know that prayer is the answer. I grew up singing the old Hymn, What a Friend We Have in Jesus. I believe the words I’ve sung countless times, “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear, all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” The trouble is, sometimes I don’t know what to pray.
That’s why I love this passage so desperately. What a load it lifts from my shoulders. Romans 8:25–27 promises that the Spirit is interceding for us, and then just a few verses later, we’re told, “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (v. 34). Both God’s Son and His Spirit are speaking directly to the Father on your behalf today. What’s more? Their prayers for us are in complete harmony with God’s perfect will for our lives. Amazing!
Recently I have taken to praying this simple faith-filled one-word prayer: Ditto.
I bow my head, palms up, and agree with whatever it is that Jesus and the Spirit of God are praying on my behalf. Then I throw out a hearty, “What He said,” followed by an “Amen.”
Marriage is hard, parenting is hard, life in this fallen world is just plain hard, and at times I simply don’t know how to pray—for myself or others. That’s when I remember that the Spirit Himself is interceding for me through wordless groans. I imagine the Son leaning over the armrest of His father’s throne, talking quietly to Him about what concerns me and my loved ones today.
Psalm 138:8 says, “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.” Though I can’t get my mind around all that I need today, Jesus knows, He cares, and He is working it out. Talking it out with the Father on my behalf. What a relief. Though I don’t know how to pray or what to pray, He does—in perfect alignment with the Father’s sovereign and loving will for my life. Oh, what peace that affords me when the winds blow hard and the waves crash over me! The Son, who calmed the seas with a word, is speaking a word on my behalf into the Father’s ear. All you have to do is agree with Him now. Add your “amen” to His loving prayer over your life today.
So often, when we do pray, we ask the Lord to bless our requests. What an incredible invitation to decide instead to agree with Jesus’s prayer requests on our behalf. How awesome is that?
Don’t know what to pray? Try this simple, one-word prayer: “Ditto”
“What He said… amen.”
Dear Father, You are on the throne and overall, and Your spirit and Your Son are with You, interceding for me today. I humbly bow my head and lift my grateful Amen to their faithful prayers on my behalf. Thank You for being so intimately acquainted with all that concerns my heart today. By the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the Name of Jesus,
Now It’s Your Turn
Dear Sister, I pray that you catch a vision of God prayerfully caring for you today. Whether you don’t feel you can pray because you haven’t prayed in far too long, or because the prayer requests that fill your heart are too big to utter, may you know the peace that comes from believing that Jesus, our Savior, along with His Holy Spirit are lovingly interceding for you today.
More from the Girlfriends
Today’s author, Wendy Speake, often includes hymn lyrics in her daily devotions. If you love the old songs of our faith such as “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, sign up to receive free decorative prints from WendySpeake.com. Every season you’ll receive three beautiful, downloadable graphics to decorate your heart and home. Each series includes a lyric from one of Wendy’s favorite hymns, as well as a Scripture print and a quote to encourage you in your own journey of faith.
Today’s devotional was taken from Wendy’s new book, The 40 Day Sugar Fast which released in November 2019. Order your copy today and then spend 40 days fasting from sugar and feasting on the satisfying sweetness of our Savior! Wendy Speake is a trained actress and heartfelt Bible teacher. Co-author of the parenting books Triggers and Parenting Scripts, and host of the annual 40 Day Sugar Fast. Connect with Wendy on Facebook or Instagram today.