Do you ever read or hear something multiple times, and then, all of a sudden, you "get" it?
I had one of those moments over the past week. I can't pinpoint exactly when it happened, but it did, and I was reminded of it last night.
Romans 8:26-27 (NIV) tells us, "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." This is such a comforting thought!
At times, I feel like I get overwhelmed when I'm praying. I think of people, things, and situations I want to talk to the Lord about, but sometimes, when I sit down to pray, I get overwhelmed. My mind starts to wander, I feel like I babble on and on, and sometimes, I really don't feel like I have the words to convey what my heart is feeling and trying to say.
This verse from Romans "clicked" with me this week and weekend. I've read it several times over the past week and it was even underlined in my Bible (from more than likely years ago) with the words "Christ intercedes for ME!" written in all caps, but for some reason, it hadn't quite clicked before.
How awesome is it that we can rest in God's promise that even when we don't know what to pray or we can't find the words to say, the Spirit of the Lord is praying for us, continually! We serve an awesome God!
If you read these verses from other translations, this is what you get:
The Message: Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.
The 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. And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God's will.
New King James Version: Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
If you will, please pray with me about these situations:
1. My dear PC. For a brief background, about three years ago, he found out he had a brain tumor and had surgery to remove it. Earlier this year, it started growing, so he went through several weeks of radiation. He has had three MRI's since radiation ended, and at last week's, we found out that there is some additional swelling around the old tumor area. Since radiation's effects can look similar to a tumor trying to grow, he'll have a follow up MRI next month. Considering his health, his doctors feel that it is likely the radiation's effects, but as you can imagine, it is easy to worry. Pray with us that the radiologist will not see any increased blood flow to the area and that when we go in January, that area will be totally clear. I believe that God has healed him completely and will continue to do so, and this is an opportunity we have to put our faith and trust totally in Him!
2. One of the bloggers whose blog I read daily, Pleasant Living, has had some health issues. Please pray for her and her family. Her blog is full of words of encouragement and you can see her love of Christ and the faith she has in Him displayed so freely in her writing.
3. The season. This time of year is so special. I think about all of us, and I feel so guilty about all the things I have, while there are so many who have nothing. I go shop to buy more for people who have more than they ever need or want, but yet there are those who literally have nothing. I pray that during this time of year, we all think about the true meaning of Christmas and live it in our lives for the world to see.