Just Ask – or Don’t!

  • “In the same way, 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

With modern technology, we can ask a device a question and get an answer in mere seconds. Want to know what the weather will be like before you leave for work? Technology has the answer. Want to know what time your favorite team is playing, how to get somewhere, or listen to a joke? That device has the answer for each of your questions and can even give you step-by-step directions when needed! Each question is answered with great ease and precision—as long as you know the questions you need to ask. 

Today, all over the world, Christians face many unforeseen circumstances. What happens when we’re not quite sure what to ask? What happens when life hits us with things that we can’t explain? What happens when we don’t know what to do? What happens when our world is so shaken that we can’t even process our predicament? 

For those of us in Christ, there is great comfort! The Spirit is here to help us. When we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit takes over for us.

God has given every Christian the privilege of simply existing in His presence. When we are overwhelmed, we need not worry about what to say or do. God allows us to forget about the questions entirely because His Spirit intercedes for us! There are times when the only thing needed to have a vibrant prayer life is to exist in the presence of God. 

I don’t know the strength of your prayer life. You may use wonderful words or the simplest of phrases as you call out to Him. You may wish you had more to say in your alone time with God. Please take heart and let these words in Romans speak to you: “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” (8:27).

Your prayer life isn’t dependent on your words—it is dependent on spending time with God. He wants to be with you, and He knows what you need even before you know what to say.

Prayer for the week: Father, allow me to exist in this moment in Your presence. Teach me how to rest in communion with Your Spirit. I don’t know what today holds, but I trust my life to you! Amen. (Now, spend some silent time in the Lord’s presence.)

Wendell Brown is district superintendent of the North Central Ohio District Church of the Nazarene. He is also the founder of Tragedy Into Triumph, a nationwide simulcast reaching hundreds of thousands of people over the last 12 years for the gospel of Christ. He is passionate about discipleship and finding new ways to tell the story of God’s love!

Written for Coffee Break