When You Can’t Pray

The Spirit prays for us in ways
that cannot be put into words.
        —Romans 8:26

John White was a praying man: diligent in private; eloquent in public. At the end of every visit I had with him, he said, “Let’s pray before we part.”

When his doctor’s stethoscope detected a problem that called for open-heart surgery, John was dismayed that he couldn’t pray; he had neither the energy nor the words. His body and mind were so exhausted that he could barely function.

He said he later realized that God had covered his deficiency: the Holy Spirit was praying for him when he couldn’t pray for himself (Rom 8:26).

Eugene Peterson paraphrased Romans 8:26 this way: “God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.”

The Spirit prays, and the Father hears.

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