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. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.
I had been grieving for two weeks. On this particular afternoon, I sat alone in a prayer room at my home church, hot tears coursing down my cheeks. I was in anguish, exhausted and in shock. The man I was planning to marry had just drowned in a swimming pool, and the news was too difficult for me to digest. I felt completely alone in my pain even though I was an active and well-connected member of a megachurch. Words could not contain my grief, instead, I groaned, the searing torment of my emotions gushing from deep inside me.
Suddenly, someone placed a hand on my right shoulder and gave me a reassuring pat. I turned my tear-stained face towards the person expecting to see my senior pastor, and wondering why I did not hear the door open behind me when he came in. There was no one there. I was still alone, and yet the air had shifted in that room, someone was there! I would bet my life on it.
Instead of fear, I felt strangely peaceful as a deep warmth began to spread from my shoulder (yes, the right one) to my heart. I entered a deep calm and my mood shifted to a holy and quiet surrender to the gentle presence in that prayer room. I cannot explain it, but I had an immediate sense that Jesus’ presence was in the room with me to reassure me that I was not alone and that he would be with me every step of the way in my grieving. I knew that he was there to remind me of the hope that we have in him, through his resurrection.
I share my story to let you know, that the Holy Spirit is real, Jesus is real, our God is real. This may be an extremely challenging time in your life, but it is also an opportune time for Jesus to help you. In one of the darkest moments of my life he interceded for me and he can do the same for you. If you’ve come to the end of yourself, let him take over and steer you where he wants you go. Let go of the crutches, abandon the prayer formulas, abandon the plans and just be open and real about your situation then leave the rest to him. You can’t, by your own power, change your situation, but you can open the door and allow God’s life-changing power to come in and change it for you through the power of the Holy Spirit. Seek his face diligently and you will find him.
God of all comfort, I praise you today for who you are. Your word says, you give strength to the weary. Here I am broken and exhausted. Take over my life Lord, and lend me your strength. Heal me of my weakness by the power of your Holy Spirit. Empty me of myself, and fill me afresh with your Spirit. I surrender my striving. Have your own way in me and lead me in your good and perfect will. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen!