Mon May 20-Search Our Hearts

Romans 8:26-27 (CEB)

26 In the same way, the Spirit comes to help our weakness. We don’t know what we should pray, but the Spirit himself pleads our case with unexpressed groans. 27 The one who searches hearts knows how the Spirit thinks, because he pleads for the saints, consistent with God’s will.


Nothing strikes fear into the hearts of church members more than asking someone to pray out loud in front of a room full of people. We’ve all been there. We worry we won’t have the right words, or we’ll make a mistake, or worse-if we manage a coherent prayer-the pastor may ask us to pray the next time. Paul, our author of Romans, is right, we all are weak in spiritual understanding, and therefore we don’t know what we should pray. That is why, as beloved children of God, we have the Holy Spirit within us, helping us to pray.

I originally thought that these beautiful verses written by Paul referred to those times in my life when I was in crisis. So many times in my own life, when I faced a crisis, serious illness or the death of my family or friends, I would pray that visceral prayer, “Help us God!” I took comfort knowing the Spirit spoke to God for me, when my words completely failed to express my deep concern or despair. But as I have grown in faith, I have come to understand that prayer flows through us and changes us at all times, not just when
we’re in crisis. The Spirit searches our hearts and prompts us to pray. The Spirit guides and directs how and what we pray for, empowering our prayer. When we’re praying to God, we are never praying alone.
The Advocate, the Comforter, the Spirit prays with us and through us. It’s by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us, that helps us in our spiritual weakness, to become more loving followers of Jesus.

When we pray, the Spirit opens up our hearts and souls to God’s love, while also transforming us into loving children of God. The Spirit is always pleading with silent words to God on our behalf, to lead us, guide us and protect us, by aligning us with God’s will. And while we are spiritually weak, when we give up trying to control the outcome, that’s when the movement of the Spirit gives us the grace and strength to share the love of God with others. We’re equipped by the Spirit to follow Jesus and serve others, showing God’s love that will transform lives in ways we never imagined were possible. While we may not be able to discern God’s will on every step of life’s journey, we know the destination is God’s Kin-dom, as we love God and love others as Jesus loved us.

by Jeneene Reduker

For Pondering and Prayer

As a child of God, everything begins and ends with prayer. But in our spiritual weakness we don’t know what we should pray. Whether you are experienced in praying or just beginning, take time to sit in God’s loving presence and open your heart and soul to the movement of the Spirit.

Prayer: Holy Spirit, we don’t know what we should pray, help us in our weakness. Open our hearts and souls to the transforming power of God’s love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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