“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. And God, who searches the heart, knows what the mind of the Spirit is because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27
As I have been talking about prayer this Lenten season, I have been touched by your prayers and your request for prayers. I have felt deeply the pains of our congregation. So many parents are deeply concerned for the life and health of their children. Adult children are trying to find answers or strength for their aging parents. Others are affected by the affairs of the world because they have relatives or friends in the crosswinds of political debate. I, myself, am at a loss for words. I just hurt for you as I lift you in prayer.
Paul teaches us in his Letter to the Romans that being children of God doesn’t save us from the pain of living, but calls us to go out and pray on behalf of the world. We stand at the point of this present age and the age to come. We live in the promise that has not been fully completed. We are assured of God’s presence with us yet daily we are faced with the brokenness of this creation that cries out with us.
Paul says that the Holy Spirit groans in our behalf. How many times have I sat at home, in the pew, in a hospital room, in the nursing home wishing that I had the words to alleviate the pain of a person or family? Sometimes for my own concerns I will simply say over and over- Do Not Fear, God is with you. I truly believe and witness to what Paul talks about in chapter 8 of Romans that “all we have is the promise of God and the promise of God is plenty.”
On my desk I have a list of prayers for people that members have asked me to keep in my personal prayer life. I do pray for them all. I do so with the idea that I do not have all the answers but I firmly believe that God will makes all things new in his own time. I pray for these people not knowing the outcome but believing that God is in the midst of their struggles and difficulties.
As I have said time and time again, life with God is in the conversation. I appeal to you to pray and when you cannot find the words, sit with God. Sit in his presence. Allow the Holy Spirit to tend to you as he cries out in your behalf. Then wait. No one wants to hear those words.
Scripture tells us that God comes to those who wait. The people of God, since the beginning, have waited for God. The witness of God’s people in scripture is that God has acted, and they have waited. I believe waiting is part of the trusting and having faith in God. It is hoping for things we cannot see. Believing, is trusting that God is active in the world.
I pray for you and your families and the world. It seems so dark at times. When I sit in silence I feel God’s assurance that God is present and is working at making things all new in time. I thank you as a congregation for sharing your prayers with me. Your prayers help me better understand you and minister to you. Together as we grow in his grace we will feel his presence with us as we share our stories and witness to his love.
In His Service, Pastor Bob