The Spirit helps us in our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.
– Romans 8:26
Sometimes, we simply do not know how to pray. Have you ever been there? I found myself in that place during a recent retreat. Pondering changes and challenges and the needs of so many, I simply offered: “Abba, I don’t even know what to ask; I don’t know what I need . . .”
It was the best I could do. I then settled into the silence and simply paid attention. In time, as I stepped through the remainder of the day, I was gently led to remember the above-quoted words of scripture. It was a gift of grace; a timely word of hope and encouragement for which I give thanks.
We are not alone. We never have been. We never will be. Jesus promised, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20), and “I will not leave you orphaned” (John 14:18). He fulfills the promise by giving us the Spirit. Forever. Filling us with life, leading us into truth, infusing us with courage, and helping us in our weakness by praying on our behalf when words and knowledge fail us (and even when we think we do know the words to say . . .).
“Abba, I don’t even know what to ask; I don’t know what I need.”
Sometimes that’s the best we can do . . . and simply pay attention.
Here is a gift worthy of thanksgiving. Perhaps you are right now in that place beyond knowledge and words . . . or you’ve been there . . . or will be . . . “Abba, I don’t even know what to ask . . .” Wherever you are, receive the word of promise today, and rest in this great gift of grace. The Spirit prays for you – and over you – with sighs too deep for words. Be silent. Pay attention. Give thanks. Today and always.
Paying Attention With You, Jeff