In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 NAS
I rarely understand why things happen. I don’t always focus on the best interests of others. I am incapable of knowing the end from the beginning. Because of these flaws, I really don’t know how to pray the right way. Sure, I can offer up a prayer that seems right to me, and even tack on the phrase if it be your will, but am I submitting to God’s will or asking Him to submit His to mine? Is what I’m asking for what I should be asking for?
I think the Romans passage explains why it seems that sometimes our prayers go unanswered. It tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. Somehow, He takes what we ask for and shapes it according to the will of God.
Is it possible that the prayers we submit are in such dire need of transformation by the Holy Spirit that when we receive our answer, it is so transformed, so sanctified, that we don’t recognize it? For what prayer can be touched and transformed by the Holy Spirit, submitted to God the Father, and lovingly acted upon by Him, and not return to us holy and beautiful?
I continually need reminding that He is trustworthy, that He truly does know the end from the beginning, and that because He loves me, He will do the absolute best for me. I may not always get exactly what I ask for, but I will always receive exactly what the Holy Spirit asks for on my behalf. And it will be exactly what is needed.
Lord, give me the faith and grace to joyfully recognize and receive your answer, and to know that what you give is the perfect answer to my imperfect prayer.
Janice Powell 2013