Today's Lectionary Text
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
I recently taught a class called “10 Ways to Pray on Any Given Day.” In this class, we were going along the list. We talked about taking a blank sheet of paper and writing a letter to God with words of praise or lament, like in the Psalms. We talked about creating “collects,” simple one-subject prayers by addressing God, naming who God is, and one sentence that you are wanting to name to God. We talked about praying Scripture by changing the nouns and the pronouns, like “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23) to “You, O Lord, are our Shepherd, we shall not want.”
Then we paused and pondered the Scripture for today from Romans 8:26-27. There are times when we do not know what we ought to pray for. God intercedes on our behalf, and in some translations, “with sighs too deep for words.”
This is the prayer we come to today. When we don’t know what or how to pray and life is heavy. In utter grief, in confusion, in the depth of unknowing, we pray with sighs too deep for words.
Recognizing God’s presence with us is the way we can pray today. We rely on God’s Spirit to know our heart and mind and that the loving God who interprets our prayers without words.
May our spirits be touched to see the things of this world that have no words before God. May we pray recognizing and relying on God to guide us through.
--Rev. Nicole Conard
Young adult leadership/campus ministries coordinator
Prayer for Reflection
O God, sometimes we have no words. We are in your presence and offer to you. Guide us, we pray. Amen.
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