We commit ourselves to pray for the needs of our support group families.
‘Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.’
Have you ever been confused as to how to pray for one of our loved ones? Thinking of Bill and Trudie when JT was so miserable…do you pray that he is healed? What if he is not healed? Do you pray that he is stabilized? What if he still does not find relief? Do you pray that the Lord takes him? I don’t think many of us would pray this and yet that does seem to be the answer for JT. God said ‘enough!’ and brought him home to a place of peace and comfort. Have you ever wondered what to pray for someone or in some circumstance? What does Mike pray for Martha these days…..that her days are extended or shortened? How can we know, as we know not the future or the circumstances connected to her life.
Prayer to me represents a conversation between God and us. We present our requests and listen for His response, either as a still, quiet voice or circumstances making it evident. And the end result hopefully is as Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
This takes a step of Trust with God. Trust that God’s ultimate purpose is for our good and not evil. That He will direct our steps along the path He has for each one of us.
About 10 years ago, I had a friend, Gayle, who was diagnosed with brain cancer. We prayed that she would be healed. After some time, it appeared that the cancer was beyond the cures available in medicine. She was a lovely, committed Christian. As I visited her in the rehab hospital after a bout in the hospital, she told me that it really bothered her that she didn’t even know what to pray. She was confused and struggling. I told her that God understood and gave us His word for these situations. That the Holy Spirit would pray on her behalf when we did not know what to pray. She asked me if I knew where it was in Scripture. I said I knew it was in the New Testament but not sure where, without a concordance to check it. However, she continued to push me as she was in great mental, physical and spiritual turmoil. She needed to hear this promise directly from God’s Word that the Holy Spirit would know what to pray and would do so on her behalf. This might calm her if I could locate this encouragement. I did not have a Bible with me but thought to look in the bedside table drawer. In the drawer, there was a Bible! Then I looked to see if there was a concordance to guide me to this Scripture. No! Oh my. Gayle continued to ask me to find the Scripture. So I opened the Bible and looked to see where I opened it. My thumb holding the page was at Romans 8:26-27 “ Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the Saints according to the will of God.” I was as surprised as anyone. And yet was able to share the specific Scripture with Gayle and reassure her as God obviously wanted her to be reassured. I can only imagine the Holy Spirit at work on our behalf saying, “Guide Pat to find this Scripture so Gayle can be comforted.” With this, Gayle was settled and was able to relax. We were both finding ourselves in this confusing situation, now at peace with God and comforted that He would guide and provide.
And so, for all our confusing circumstances that find us wondering as Gayle wondered, we can trust that the Holy Spirit will be interceding for us. We can find comfort in this and release our confusion into the hands of a loving and caring God who will show us the way we should go, and give us the strength to persevere.
As we approach this Thanksgiving Season, let us be mindful to pray for one another. Let us be thankful that others are praying for us, including the Holy Spirit before the throne of God. Our paths are unique, and yet the same God is walking with each one of us. He listens and cares about our prayers. May it continue to be in unity with one another, and with God.
Psalm 56 :8-13
You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?
Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call. This I know, that God is for me. In God whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.