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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Wednesday, December 9

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.
—Romans 8:26

We sometimes treat prayer like tickets for an upcoming basketball game. We're really excited about attending the game, so we're willing to stand in line weeks before just to make sure we get the tickets. Then, we put them in our wallet for safe-keeping until game day.

We go about our everyday activities without much thought about the game, other than a casual remark we make to a buddy, or arranging for childcare  for our night out. As game-day approaches, we feel the excitement rising in us again for the possibilities of the game. We're pumped up with adrenalin. We're ready to see the game, hear the cheers, eat the hot dogs. And, we go to the game.

What's important is this: During the time that the tickets were in our wallet, we were still preparing for the game, even though we may not have been as conscious of our preparation as we were when we were buying the tickets. 

In our prayer life, when we struggle with how or what to pray, or we're weary or doubtful about prayer, or we simply lose our excitement for prayer and do not pray, our soul is still praying, because the Spirit within us is helping us in our prayer weakness.

The Spirit is praying in words we can't seem to find. Then, in a moment, we notice our desire for prayer has returned. Our excitement has re-appeared. Our hopefulness builds. We're ready for the possibilities that prayer offers. And, we pray.

Gracious God, help me be gentle with myself when my prayer seems inadequate. Let your Spirit pray for me when all my prayers are resting in my pocket.