I bowed my head to pray but had no words. What could I say that I had not already said? There were no words to express what I felt. Ever been in that place, overwhelmed by pain or sorrow? Look up, take heart, and enter into the deepest place with God who promises this: “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.” (Romans 8:26, NIV)
That’s no excuse for lazy prayers or for sleeping through your morning time of devotion. What we find is that as we turn our heart to Him, even in the time when words fail, He remains our Counselor, keeping us aligned to His will. The Message says it this way: “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God.”
As we pray – even wordlessly – let’s never forget the wonderful truth that we have a Meditator in the Throne Room of the Almighty! Jesus, who knows the frail state of humanity, represents us in the Presence of God. “Jesus, our High Priest, has been given a ministry that is far superior to the old priesthood, for he is the one who mediates for us a far better covenant with God, based on better promises.” (Hebrews 8:6 NLT) When life reduces us to quiet groans and tears, He knows what we feel. “So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:14-16, NLT)
Whatever your place, Jesus knows, empathizes, and leads to new life.
Grieving? He wept.
Alone? He prayed in the garden alone.
Feeling abandoned by God? He cries out the same.
Struggling to find faith to accept the trials of the day? He did, too!
Even if the only words we can find are mumbled cries for mercy, He knows the deeper need. Moreover, He has taken away our guilt and given us confidence to come into God’s Presence. When I pray I know He stands alongside of me. I am shabby, without beauty, but the majestic Lord of Glory puts His arm around my shoulders and says, “Father, Jerry is here with this need, this cry!”
Richard Foster speaks of ‘simple prayer.’ This most basic form of prayer is not about eloquence or persuasive arguments. It is prayer that is filled with our inconsistencies, mixed motives, sorrow, anger, joy, dreams, hopes, longings, and daily concerns. “Let us pray!” Yes, simple prayers, wordless prayers, groans, and laughter formed into simple prayer.
The word from the Word is an invitation – “So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body. So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” (Hebrews 10: 19-23, The Message)
(This Sunday at Faith Discovery Church – http://www.FaithDiscovery.com – I will be starting a series of messages to explore the topic of prayer and encourage us to follow the direction – “Pray continually!” I am excited to take on this topic and know that the Spirit will be among us to make the Word alive!)
Before The Throne Of God Above
Before the throne of God above,
I have a strong and perfect plea,
A great High Priest whose name is Love,
Whoever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart,
I know that while in heav’n He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart;
No tongue can bid me thence depart.
When Satan tempts me to despair,
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there,
Who made an end to all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died,
My sinful soul is counted free,
For God the Just is satisfied,
To look on Him and pardon me;
To look on Him and pardon me.
Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I Am,
The King of glory and of grace.
One with Himself I cannot die,
My soul is purchased with His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God;
With Christ my Savior and my God.
Charitie Lees Bancroft | Vikki Cook
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