Carrying on from my last post I’d like to take you back to Dutch Sheets and his brilliant book Intercessory Prayer.
We finished with Dutch saying he sometimes, maybe quite often, feels an inability to know how or what to pray, I know this is true for me too, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
It’s a fact of life….
The Lord then says in this verse that one of the reasons we have this ‘inability to produce results’ is because we don’t always ‘know how to pray as we should’.
The word ‘should’ here us a very important word. ‘Dei’ is primarily a legal term meaning that which is necessary, right or proper in the nature of a case; what one must do; that which is legally binding for someone.
For example, Luke 18:1 KJV tells us, ‘Men ought always to pray and not to faint.’ It is declaring, ‘ It is absolutely necessary, binding upon you, that you pray.’
Jesus used the word when He said of the woman bent over from a spirit of infirmity, ‘And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?’ Luke 13:16 KJV.
His reason that she should be loosed from this spirit was her being ‘a daughter of Abraham’. In other words, she had a covenantal right to it.
Because He had the ability to give her what she had a covenantal right to, He said, in essence, ‘Is it not necessary and binding upon me that I deliver this daughter of Abraham from this infirmity?’
Now we understand the strength of the word, let’s put it back into Romans 8:26. The Lord is saying we don’t always know what needs to happen in a given situation. We don’t always know what is necessary or right.
I find myself wondering at times, ‘How do I pray for this person or situation, Lord? What needs to happen?’
At other times I have felt led by the Holy Spirit to pray for someone, yet had no way of knowing why they needed prayer.
Sometimes mature intercessors are prompted by the Lord to pray and not only do they not know what they are praying for, but they don’t know for whom they are praying. They just feel a burden to pray.
Talk about a weakness, an inability to produce results. Talk about not knowing what is ‘necessary, right or proper’ in a situation.
What do we do in these circumstances? This is when the Holy Spirit wants to help us. He will lead us as we pray, perhaps revealing things about the situation to us, or bringing Scriptures to our minds so we can pray them in the situation. He will certainly help us by empowering our prayers. But another way He wants to help us is by literally praying through us as we pray in the Spirit.
God calls us His friends, He says we co-labour with Him too. The wise kindness He demonstrates to us in this is significant, it is not for nothing that He has made us to desire purpose.
We get to make a real difference, not just a token display of allowing us to appear to be involved but the genuine article, we get to take part in His work of changing the world and bringing in His ever increasing kingdom. When we engage with Him in this, we get to change culture, sometimes in small ways and at other times, ways which make a stark difference, whichever it is today, or this week, a smaller or greater impact, we never need feel we don’t know how to make a difference or how to play our part, at least in this He has made it plain, He wants us praying. He shares His very heart with us. He empowers and guides, and even gives us the words when we don’t have those.