While traveling in Asia, my iPad (containing my reading material and many work documents) suddenly died, a condition described as “the black screen of death.” Seeking help, I found a computer shop and encountered another problem—I don’t speak Chinese and the shop’s technician didn’t speak English. The solution? He pulled up a software program in which he typed in Chinese, but I could read it in English. The process reversed as I responded in English and he read in Chinese. The software allowed us to communicate clearly, even in different languages.
At times, I feel like I’m unable to communicate and express my heart when I pray to my heavenly Father—and I’m not alone. Many of us struggle sometimes with prayer. But the apostle Paul wrote, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26–27).
How amazing is the gift of the Holy Spirit! Better than any computer program, He clearly communicates my thoughts and desires in harmony with the Father’s purposes. The work of the Spirit makes prayer work!
What challenges have you experienced in your prayer life? How can you lean on the Holy Spirit as you seek to pray more passionately to God?
In chapter 8 of Paul’s letter to the Romans, he uses the word groan or groaning three times (vv. 22–23, 26). However, each sigh comes with hope: All creation groans like a mother in labor (v. 22). With a taste (“firstfruit”) of Christ’s Spirit, we groan in anticipation of a better day (vv. 23–25; see also Galatians 5:22–23). And as we groan, the Spirit of God groans with us and for us (Romans 8:26–27)—understanding far better than we do that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (vv. 31–39).