I had an interesting discussion with my daughter the other day. She asked me,
"Have you heard any messages about prayer that talk about how the Holy Spirit prays the prayers in us? Where in the Bible is that?"
"It's in Romans 8:
... the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for uswith groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 NASB"
And this is what I count on. Years ago, I was so wracked by performance in my 'prayer life.' I had a prayer list that was broken down into daily, weekly, monthly. I tried the A-C-T-S approach, making sure I went in the correct order: first Adoration, then Confession, don't forget Thanksgiving, and finally Supplication (including the stuff I was really agonizing over in my life). The discipline of it all would have put the best of the canonized saints to shame.
And I HATED it! Dreaded it! I hated to pray!
Finally, I realized this can't be prayer in God's view of it all. So I said to God (so I guess that was one of the first real honest prayers I'd prayed in a long time since I had started "learning" how to pray),
I'm not praying until YOU show me what prayer is!'
And I meant it! So I didn't pray. I ripped up my prayer list (that work of 'disciplined art'). I stopped the ACTS stuff. I just was ... for I forget how long.
And then it started happening ... prayer started welling up from deep within ... from my innermost being ... coming into my conscious thoughts. And I realized I was praying. But my prayer was no longer originating in my brain, aided by my formulas and lists. It was originating from my spirit in union with the Holy Spirit who was praying the prayer that originated with Him.
And so now I relax about prayer. I trust Him to draw the early conscious thought of my days to His Lordship and then unfold His fullness throughout each day. Lately, I find myself writing my prayers, but that may change as He nudges. For now, this is where He is going with me.
After years of no 'to do lists' in my praying, I can now freely use a list if I sense a need and desire for one. The memory sometimes needs help. And I'm still free to let HIM do the praying in and through me as me.
And I don't think of prayer as my so-called 'prayer life.' I live in union with my God, so of course we communicate with each other. I guess that's prayer.
Thanks for listening as I ramble.
What about you? What are your thoughts about prayer and your so-called "prayer life"?