The Power of Prayer (3 of 3)
Open Your Bible
Philippians 4:6-7, James 5:13-16, Psalm 131:1-3, Romans 8:26-30
BY Guest Writer
Text: Philippians 4:6-7, James 5:13-16, Psalm 131:1-3, Romans 8:26-30
The question has been posed to me almost daily in this season: “What do you want to do?”
My husband and I are in a crux we didn’t plan for, one that necessitates a job change and possibly a move—and quick. There are three solid options on the table, one of which is to stay here in Denver, in the home we love, in the city we felt God calling us to a year ago. The others take us to the opposite side of the country, near where we both grew up. Neither option to move back east seems best today. I don’t know what to ask for, and I don’t know what to pray. My prayers lately resemble something like this: I don’t know, but You do, so just do it quick—even if it hurts.
I feel weak of praying. I don’t mean tired of praying, I mean weak in it. Praying feels like the weakest thing I could do and the most necessary. Never in all my life have I felt so out of control of my own life and person—and I’m weak for it. I feel bruised, sucked in, spit out, worn over, trampled, even crushed. I am like one with dry mouth trying to ask for a drink of water; more desirous than ever, and unable to form the words with a parched throat and cracked lips.
My will is strong, my body is weary.
In these moments, I’m tempted to keep quiet because God knows my prayers anyway; He knows the words I’d say if I could. In Romans 8:26, we read, “The Spirit also joins to help in our weakness.” It would seem more fitting if it said, “The Spirit will carry us along in our weakness,” but it doesn’t. It says, “joins.”
The Holy Spirit comes to us, gets down in the trench with us, imbeds inside us, melds against and with us, and helps in our weakness. This changes things. A parched person need not cry out for water if one who is satiated joins her pleas, groaning alongside her for what she needs.
This is what the Holy Spirit does for me and you. He dips down and hears those earnest and difficult cries, and He, who knows the will of God, takes every petition to the Father who gives good gifts (Matthew 7:11). Our prayers are not powerful because we ourselves are powerful. The power of prayer lies in the power of God.
I do not know what to pray for as I should, but I know the Holy Spirit joins with me. He knows what I need better than I ever could.
“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Lore Wilbert is the Director of Community and Formation at Park Church, Denver, and writer at Sayable.net. Find her on twitter @lorewilbert.