“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” Romans 8:24-26
I have a problem. Well, I have many problems, but I’m going to focus on one today. You see, I could be known as a coffee addict, coffee fiend, coffee dependent. I prefer coffee lover, but whatever. My day does not officially begin until I have caffeine in my veins. Heaven, to me, would include unlimited access to free Starbucks. Usually I have two cups in the morning. I know it’s excessive, but one is not enough and I’ll tell you why.
One morning, I had time for only one cup at home before church, so when I arrived, you know what I made a beeline for. I approached this bar with donuts, cups, different types of sugars, orange juice, and coffee. This was my first time to utilize such a set-up and I wasn’t sure where to start. It’s still not crystal clear why I stood there dumbfounded. I was still in a foggy state from only receiving half of my caffeine dose. I stood there with questions running through my mind: Are those the cups for coffee? Why don’t they look like the ones people are drinking coffee out of? Are they the orange juice cups? Should I go for it anyway? Will that be enough? Could I get two or three of those little cups? Does anyone else think this much about acquiring coffee? But nevertheless, I stood there frozen with inactivity on the outside while things were a-buzzing in my brain, until some man took mercy on me and asked if I wanted coffee and then pointed at the cups that had been sitting there all along. If I had been more conscious I would have said, “I definitely need the coffee if I can’t figure out how to get it on my own.” But I just smiled and said, “Thanks.”
I feel this way some times when I want to pray or spent time with God. I don’t know what to do. I sit there, waiting, thinking about my options. It’s not until I get out a journal or piece of paper and start writing, usually, “I don’t know what to pray,” that stuff just flows out of me. Things I didn’t even know I needed to pray about.
I think we even may be better off that way to be like blank slates. In Romans, it says the Holy Spirit intercedes for us when we don’t know what to pray. And I have to say, the Holy Spirit is a higher authority in knowing what to pray than I am. And how great is it that all we need is attendance and a willing heart, and it is used? I'm so thankful God works in us even when we're standing before His throne unsure of what to do next.
So next time you try to pray and don’t know what to say, depend on Him to tell You. Just be present and willing. And the next time you begin to pray and know what You want to pray for, seek what He may want You to pray about.