Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. ESV
Sometimes the impact of a few words in the Word can become a lightbulb moment. That happened with those few highlighted words from Romans 8:26. The Lord has been using the Word and my own words each time I write a blog post to refine me during this time while the entirety of my life has been re-defined. I am no longer part of a couple, I am a widow. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” has become my new awareness that in the faith the Lord has given me there is a powerful relationship between weakness and prayer.
My concept of praying as a strength has been revealed for the flawed idea it is. “For we do not know what to pray for as we ought.” I know my prayers have changed because what my heart needs to pray in this time has coincided with the awareness of my own weakness. For the first time I emotionally understand Paul’s comment about his weakness being his strength. I’ve experienced “groanings too deep for words.” My own words of prayer have mostly seemed weak to my ears. But somehow the “mind of the Spirit” heard those words that were spilled out in tear-filled broken phrases and translated that weakness “according to the will of God” into a different reality for me.
I’ve become aware that the power of prayer doesn’t depend on the strength of my words to provide the answers I need to endure anything more than confessing my own weakness. Just a couple nights ago I found myself needing to confess I had once again flunked trusting the faith I write and speak of. That’s when I realized weakness and prayer ARE the “odd couple” the Spirit of God uses to remind me the reality of Jesus’s strength IS my faith. What I am able to ask of Him in weakness, the Spirit of God can use to reveal deep truth to me: a broken and fearful heart still has life. Life is good because Jesus said so. His promises still hold true as long as His life is in my body. “He who searches hearts knows” my weakness and my fumbling prayers are the gift of my heart and He responds “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in [your] weakness.a“ That’s a passing grade I can live with.
a 2 Corinthians 12:9
Colossians 1:25 …I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me. [ESV]
Paul is quite clever in choosing the concept of “mystery” for his presentation of
the Gospel. Our interest is piqued by the elements of a mystery; who, what, where,
when and why. The Word has now been “revealed to his saints.“ That solution has made known “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is…”
Christ [the who] in you [the where], the hope of glory [the what]
now revealed [the when]
that we may present everyone mature in Christ [the why]
The puzzle pieces are all there in the Gospel. They’re the same for every believer. The blessing of the mystery is revealed in the process of assembling the pieces. The shapes are similar because they’re designed to engage the heart, mind, soul and strength to discover the right piece that fits in the right place at the right time knowing the completed puzzle holds the reality of this promise…
Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory
“…We should feed and nourish our souls with high notions of GOD…”
.Brother Lawrence from The Practice of the Presence of God.
I’m at one of those transition places between what I wanted to know and what I still need to know. I’m looking for that new focus of my daily study. Usually I begin with THE Word and then find my words but all I have today is word ideas prompted by that quote from The Practice of the Presence of God. It feels like I’m beginning backwards but I’ve just spent a few weeks on the assurances that access to “high notions of GOD” are built right into those who dwell with his Spirit inside them. Here I am Lord. I love you, please lead me…to your “Whatever” and the fullness of understanding there’s “Nothing” you will withhold as I continue to ponder the mystery of how to practice these high notions of God…and their wisdom for daily life.
Proverbs 16:20 Whoever listens to what is taught will succeed,
and whoever trusts the Lord will be happy.
21 The wise are known for their understanding.
Their pleasant words make them better teachers.
22 Understanding is like a fountain which gives life to those who use it,
but foolishness brings punishment to fools.
23 Wise people’s minds tell them what to say,
and that helps them be better teachers.
24 Pleasant words are like a honeycomb,
making people happy and healthy. NCV