26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.~ Romans 8:26-28
Do you ever find yourself not knowing what to pray for or how to pray? Do you get uncomfortable when asked to pray in front of people, even if it’s just family? How about when you are praying alone? Do you feel as though if you don’t pray for enough people or if you pray for yourself you are being selfish?
If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you are not alone! We are taught various prayers as children, but as we grow older, for some reason we feel the need to make the prayers more complicated. We might feel as though if the prayer isn’t using big words or isn’t long enough then it isn’t pleasing to God.
Not only do we fear that our prayer is not good enough for God, we also fear that we are praying too much for ourselves! When want to pray for God’s help, but we are trained to think “well, so and so has it worse than me, so I really shouldn’t be complaining…” even though needing help is not complaining! In fact, God wants us to cry to Him! He wants to be the first place that we turn to.
And yet, there are still times when we know we should be praying, but we do not have the words for what is on our hearts. We sit there with our mind wandering thinking “God, I’m sorry, I got distracted in my prayer” or “God, I don’t even know what I am praying for.”
Here is what you need to know: God doesn’t care about the length or eloquence of your prayer. There isn’t a magic word that needs to be said. Rather, God gives us the Holy Spirit to act on our behalf so that when we do not have the right words (and that is often), the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words to express.
God knows our hearts, He knows our minds. We absolutely need to continue to pray, but rest assured, your prayers are answered whether you have your eyes wide open driving down the road, or you are on your knees with your hands folded before bed. Whether we have a proper, formal prayer, or we are at a place where all we have are groanings that cannot even be put into words. May you know that God hears you. God is for you. God has called you His very own.
This is most certainly true.
Pastor Maxwell Whitehead