Romans 8:26-27 (NLT)
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.
Have you ever prayed and prayed for an outcome until you began to wonder if God was even listening? When you don’t get the answer to prayer that you want or expect, it may be that the Holy Spirit is praying something different on your behalf.
Scripture tells us that as believers, we never pray alone. The Holy Spirit prays with us and for us, knowing what to pray when we don’t, helping us in the weakness of our limited human condition. The Spirit knows God’s will for us and prays with the mind and heart of the Father for our benefit. With wisdom that runs deeper than we can know, the Spirit pleads that God will respond as God desires, not necessarily as we desire. Thus, even as we pray for relief from suffering or healing from disease or justice for an injury or solutions to a problem, the Spirit may offer a different prayer, appealing on behalf of deeper needs hidden from our awareness and according to the particular purpose God has planned for us or for those for whom we are praying.
The Holy Spirit helps our prayers…
…by praying what God desires for us, even if we are praying for something else.
…by changing our hearts as we pray.
…by changing our prayers as our hearts change.
…by presenting to God the deeper needs that lie hidden from our awareness.
…by facilitating our transformation into a likeness of Christ.
…by moving us toward the purpose God has prepared for us.
FATHER, thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to help me pray. When my prayers seem to go unanswered, give me pause to consider whether the Spirit might be praying something different on my behalf. I ask for humility enough to realize that I do not know the depth of my own needs, or the needs of others for whom I pray, as well as you do.
John 14:16-17; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19
Think of a prayer that has gone unanswered. How might the Spirit be praying differently for you?