Prayer and the Pray-er

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, 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. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good” (Romans 8:26-28, The Message).

Sometimes I feel like I should be a much better pray-er by now. I’ve had enough practice and amassed all this spiritual knowledge, yet when I actually take the time to pray in private, I get distracted and my mind wanders and I occasionally fall asleep.

I read about all these spiritual giants who would spend hours upon hours in prayer, yet for me even five minutes in dedicated prayer seems like an eternity.

Tonight, I was reminded that sometimes the truest prayers look and sound a lot like sighs and groans. Sometimes, the most spiritual kind of prayer is to confess your complete and utter helplessness to express what’s in your heart, knowing the Holy Spirit is able to translate those inaudible (and sometimes audible) yearnings into prayers that the Father hears.

I’ve mentioned before that sometimes the three best prayers are “Help,” “Thanks,” and “Wow.” Anne Lamott wrote an entire book about those prayers and I confess at times, those are the only words I can muster to express what’s in my heart.

It’s not my great faith in God that sustains me but rather my faith in a great big God that has carried me through seasons of so-called self-sufficiency and seasons of complete God-dependence.

On a side note: today is the seventh anniversary of my very first blog post all the way back in 2010. On another side note, I originally wrote that it was the sixth anniversary before my internal editor caught the mistake.

Thank you, God, that you are more faithful to me than I am to you, and that my destiny isn’t based on my faith in You but in Your faith in me.


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