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.
We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
These first words in today’s reading have always been a reassurance to me in my life. Prayer is something I’ve struggled with throughout my life to feel comfortable with, and if I admit it, to feel confident in doing it “right.” I love to talk with people and have long conversations, and it comes naturally, but when it comes time to pray I find myself getting nervous and wanting to be good at it. Paul’s words in today’s text help ground me and calm me. To know that Spirit lifts us up in those moments of weakness and helps us in weakness, real or perceived.
We find ourselves struggling as a society right now with a never-ending list of concerns. These concerns weigh on us and can even leave us in a place of paralysis. I know that’s where I am almost daily when I turn on the news or open up my internet browser. I don’t know what to pray for on most days right now. Then I hear these words at the end of verse 26, “that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” That’s it, the prayers I’ve been seeking to express at this time are “sighs too deep for words.” I realize that I just need to find a place and create space for the Spirit to intercede, especially in those times where I don’t feel the “right” prayer. I need to be open and willing to be present, in a prayerful attitude, and let God take over the rest. This is a daily challenge, one I’m thankful for God’s grace to continue learning about.
--Rev. Zach Anderson
Goodland, Kansas, UMC
*Devotion originally posted 6/2/2020
Prayer for Reflection
Gracious and Loving God, when words don’t seem to come, there you are. Send your Spirit on us this day, to lift up our heavy sighs on behalf of all who are suffering in our world. Amen.
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