Christians need the Holy Spirit’s help in prayer. At times in our journey of faith, we’ll find that we cannot . . .
- Find the right words
- Discern God’s will
- Recognize what He is doing, or
- Grasp the complexity of a situation.
Periods of struggle in prayer are normal for believers. Few of us are as eloquent as the psalmist David—especially when we are confused, distressed, or weary. So let’s look at two biblical examples of prayer in challenging situations.
First, notice that in today’s reading, the apostle Paul admits to feeling weak in his prayer life. His well-known request was for God to remove a “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7). Paul pleaded desperately—and probably with great effort—for relief. With the Spirit’s help, he came to understand the Lord’s call to endure in spite of pain.
A second example is Jesus Christ’s agonized prayer the night before His crucifixion. Although He was committed to doing His Father’s will, He dreaded the immeasurable spiritual suffering that lay ahead. Crying out to God from Gethsemane, the Savior uttered this urgent sentence: “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).
God knew we’d need help in prayer. With our limited human perspective, we cannot know all aspects of the situations facing us. But the Holy Spirit understands our needs and burdens—as well as the big picture. He carries our requests to God even when we can’t adequately express them.