When Christine Johnson couldn't find a way to put her prayers into words, God invited her to lean on the Holy Spirit.
I’ve gone through some periods when I felt so far from God that I couldn’t even figure out words to pray. Recently, I was struggling with how to voice to the Lord what I wanted to say, and I was failing miserably. But He spoke to me deep in my heart: The Holy Spirit prays for you with groanings. I held on to that idea, and went to the Holy Spirit to ask for His intercession.
Then the very Scripture passage that came to mind when I was struggling to pray was in our Sunday readings at Mass:
The Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)
God knows our needs, and sometimes we might grow so weary of bringing the same intentions that we feel a little despondent. We might even start to feel like we can’t pray any more. It’s then that we can feel confident that the Holy Spirit understands our needs and can bring those petitions to the Father on our behalf.
There are times I pray for my children by just bringing them to mind, visualizing that I am walking with them towards Jesus, and just handing them off. Sometimes, it happens multiple times each day.
It’s comforting to know that when we lack the ability to communicate our needs, we have a Father who understands, and the Holy Spirit to bring it to Him. We’re like children in this way: we need our parents to grasp the meaning behind our cries for help when we are small, and we need the Holy Spirit to grasp the meaning when we cry to Him, too.
God, help me remember that even when I don’t have the ability to pray, You are near and will send Your Spirit to assist me.
Copyright 2023 Christine Johnson
About the Author
Christine Johnson has been married to Nathan since 1993 and is the mother of two homeschool graduates. She and Nathan live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwest Virginia, where she tries to fit in as a transplanted Yank. She blogs at Domestic Vocation about her life as a wife, mother, and Lay Dominican.