“We Do Not Know How To Pray”
By Pastor Jerry Donovan
In Romans 8:1-11 the Apostle Paul declares in vs 1 “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” How do we describe this gift? “No condemnation” is how Paul describes it. No judgment. Freedom, freed from a law whose only purpose was to burden, to condemn. The freedom to live. Really live. That’s the gift. Yes, it is life eternal, but that life begins now, in the freedom of the grace of Jesus Christ, the Resurrected one. And this Christ will “give life to your mortal bodies” (Romans 8:11) meaning we don’t have to wait, meaning that this isn’t just about someday, but about this day, right now, here. The gift is yours.
Continuing in Romans 8:12-25 we learn that we live between what is and what is coming. We feel the brokenness of the world, but we also know a new creation is coming. We have a calling, a vocation in the midst of the coming new creation. We are the place where God’s Spirit dwells. We are the hands and feet of that new creation in the midst of the brokenness, that God’s kingdom might come on earth as it already is in heaven.
Paul lets us in on that special message of the Bible that everyone is always looking for in verses Romans 8:26-39, “26 Likewise 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. 27 And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Allowing the Spirit to lead, to intercede for you in your prayer life, which is your whole life. This is the secret to the prayer thing that everyone struggles with.
Prayer is a time, we think, a moment or more in our lives when we stop and close our eyes and bow our heads. Prayer, we think, is the words that we say or the posture that we take. Prayer is the obedience, we think, to giving God a part of our day. The routine that we follow even when we don’t feel like it. That’s prayer. Of course, it is. All of that is indeed prayer and necessary for a vital prayer life.
But a life of prayer is something so much more than just that. It is more than just those closet moments or those kneeling moments, or those tears or laughter moments. A life of prayer is just that, a life. It is all of life.
Constant prayer doesn’t mean mumbling prayer words all the time like a computer subroutine running underneath everything else we do. No, it is living in the constant awareness of the Presence. It is knowing that the Spirit is interceding in our lives, even when we’ve forgotten to bow our heads and fold our hands. It is inviting that Presence, leaning into that Presence, longing for that Presence, trusting in that Presence, even in those moments when we don’t feel it because that’s when faith kicks in and tells us that even the unseen is real.
Now that you have found that hidden message of the Bible, what are you going to do with it.
If you would like to dive deeper into these teachings you can find them on Facebook and at The YouTube Video link for Sunday July 26 Worship at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksbHKDBY__U.