In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27

Have you ever felt the need or desire to pray, but were at a loss for words? Maybe it was during a very trying time in your life like divorce, financial crisis, or relational issues. Often, when crisis hits, the first word that comes to our mind is ‘Why?’ We question ourselves, we question the actions of others, we question where God is and why he isn’t acting.

The best way to describe these times is ‘perplexed’. By definition, perplexed means completely baffled or very puzzled. Psalm 13 expresses the emotional prayer of a perplexed David.

Psalm 13: 1-4 says, How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall”.

Times of turmoil often affect our prayer life and we find ourselves speechless. Paul encourages us in the book of Romans to remember that even when we are beyond words, the Holy Spirit ‘helps us’. He supports us, holds us up, shores us up like a weak beam and assists us in carrying our burden

The second thing Paul acknowledges is that there are times when we just don’t know what to pray for. We don’t always know what’s best for us. We don’t know what God may be willing to grant us. We are ignorant of God’s true character or the reasons he acts as he does.

When times of trial and temptation come along we are reminded of our inability to live the spiritual life as we’d like and that leaves us speechless. That’s when the Holy Spirit, our intercessor, utters words we cannot speak on our behalf to the father.

So, during those times when you don’t know how to pray; when you feel completely confused or abandoned by God, remember that it’s during those times we can lean on God’s Holy Spirit to speak for us on our behalf.

Let’s go back for a moment to Psalm 13. After the Psalmist voices his confusion over God’s seeming silence, he says, in verses 5-6, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.” God’s silence isn’t a sign of his absence but a call to lean more heavily on the fact of his presence. His Holy Spirit knows your heart and is interceding on your behalf. With God’s Holy Spirit embracing me, I can be undaunted when life is perplexing.

PRAYER: Father, there are times when life becomes too confusing for me and I can’t find you. During those times remind me that your Holy Spirit will intercede for me and reassure me of your unfailing love. I will sing to you O Lord for even in my perplexity, you are good to me. Amen.

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