There’s a scripture in Romans that I really love:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Prayer is a curious thing, and sometimes it happens that “we know not what we should pray for.” Yet at the same time, I am amazed at how often the Lord nudges us in the right direction so that He might be better able to help.
I had an interesting experience today that had made me reflect on this scripture, and the power and complexity of divine communication. I had breakfast with a friend, and offered to say the prayer before we ate. As I prayed, some very distinct impressions came to me of what to say, such as asking that we would be able to use our time wisely throughout the day and for opportunities to be instruments in His hands. Nothing super uncommon, really, but strange for me to be so open in including in the “routine” act of asking a blessing upon a meal. I attributed it more to the closeness and spirituality of my friendship with this individual, and didn’t think much about it. Neither of us made any mention of it after.
I went about my day, and as I came to the end of the night, I looked back on the things I had accomplished. I was amazed to see how both my friend and I, in simple but meaningful ways, had been able to offer service to multiple people, both strangers and friends. A rush of gratitude washed over me as I remembered my prayer from just hours earlier, and how perfectly it was answered.
One of my favorite passages from the Bible Dictionary entry on Prayer says:
The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for
ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant
but that are made conditional on our asking for them. Blessings require
some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them. Prayer is a
form of work and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all
I truly believe that the Lord sees more than we do, and wants to offer us more than we know to seek. He doesn’t just sit around waiting for requests to be filed. He guides us in all we do, including our sincere, humble prayers. A lesson I learned last year that I keep trying to remember is that prayer is a conversation, which means at least half of it should be listening. It’s not a letter that we send out into the abyss and wait for a response. If we are careful and attentive during prayer, we can receive help and guidance throughout the process.
I am so grateful for an Heavenly Father that loves me, and helps me in every way possible to access all that He has in store for me. I am blessed far beyond what I could ever hope to deserve.