14th September 2012

God Helps Us To Pray

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”
Luke 22:44 (NIV UK)

Everything that Jesus did was for us.

The crisis of the cross was all about us: it was about Jesus’ desire to share eternity with us. It was for that “joy set before him” that he “endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2). The anguished, passionate prayer in the garden of Gethsemane was for us, that God’s will for us would be accomplished.

Jesus prayed that all of us would be one in the life of the Father, just as he was in the Father and the Father in him (John 14:20-23). Jesus, who lives forever, continues to pray for us. “He always lives to intercede” for us (Hebrews 7:25).

There are times when we struggle in prayer. We perhaps feel stale, or we can’t find the words. We might be in a dark moment that is reminiscent of the anguish of Jesus in Gethsemane. Maybe we get despondent because we feel our continued salvation is dependent on the quality of our prayer life. Of course, our salvation is not dependent on our actions, thoughts, feelings, or even on how or what we pray: it is dependent on grace, and God always has more grace.

So gracious is God that his Spirit unblocks our prayer life for us when we feel stuck for ideas and things to say, unable to communicate to God in the way that we think we should. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

Our whole life is about how Jesus lives always to intercede for us, about how the Spirit speaks for us in our inadequacy.

Thus, by the grace of God, we can, together with Jesus and the Spirit, “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)

Gracious Father, thank you for your Son who intercedes always for me, and for your Spirit who speaks for me when I cannot find the words to pray to you. In Jesus’ name.

Study by James Henderson

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