Prayer is Not Like Soup
On Thursday I attempted to make potato cheese soup for Jonathan and I. It seemed like the perfect thing to do on an overcast, unusually quiet evening while Jonathan and Elias had soccer practice, Calum played, and Colette napped. Aria stood next to me at the stove making mac n cheese.
Then Colette woke up and I had to choose between watching the precarious toddler or the pot of soup. Naturally I chose the soup.
Just kidding! The soup, not Colette, suffered. Too much broth meant too little cheese sauce, which I tried to fix by longer boiling which disintegrated the potatoes which resulted in a watery soup tinted with a hue of cheese. Sigh.
Truth is, we can mess up soup sometimes, but guess what, Hope?
We can’t mess up prayer.
Our prayer time isn’t a failure if we forget a few people or use a wobbly method or leave out the fancy words or get distracted.
Not at all! Jesus asks us to pray because he knows we’re imperfect sinners and we need his power to get through this life.
Our Word today comes from Romans 8:26-27:
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.
Let this be your encouragement. Even when you don’t even have the energy or the knowledge or the shape of what to pray for, the Spirit steps in and “intercedes” i.e. GOES TO BATTLE for you.
The only prayer that doesn’t work is a mind and heart shut off from God. If we decide we shouldn’t pray because we don’t have a pastor’s eloquence, or a nicely written list in our prayer journal, or substantial proof that God has listened to our recent begging, then the enemy has won. He has convinced us not to pray. Not to fight. To have our gifts and callings disabled and made useless.
But when we open our heart and mind to the Spirit, humbling ourselves and asking him to pray with and for us, we have a helper in our weakness and God can do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
This week at Hope we’re introducing a new song for our series on prayer called “Battle Belongs” by Phil Wickham. While you listen, allow the Spirit to work in your heart, reminding you that God fights your battles for you when you go to your knees, or sit in your car, or cry with a friend, or nurse your baby, or walk the neighborhood.
Wherever you are, God is. He is fighting for you!
(Fill in your own words.)