This blog submitted by Bob Williamson. Bob Can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Former NFL all pro linebacker Bill Glass is a friend of mine. He told me that his father was his mentor, and when he unexpectedly died, his high school football coach became his new mentor; and when he died, another coach mentor came into his life; and later, the great evangelist Billy Graham mentored him. All of those great loving mentors helped shape his life and today he is one of the finest men that I know, and his prison ministry has reached literally hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people for Christ.
I’ve often wondered about prayer and its effectiveness and I consider my prayer life to be one of the weakest parts of my spiritual walk. As I’ve been working on my goals for next year I could not get this subject off my mind, and I’m desperately looking for answers in how to improve in this area. I was thinking about Bill Glass and his mentors through life and how fortunate he was to have them. I would have liked to discuss this and a myriad of other things with a mentor of my own, but regrettably I’ve never had anyone I could go to, and I’ve been lamenting this ad nauseum, (poor little old me).
My pity party was short lived, because I could not help but notice the Bible sitting on my desk amongst the clutter of papers. I opened it, and as so often happens, I turned right to a passage where Jesus was fervently praying. What better mentor could anyone want?
As I perused the Bible in search of wisdom on this subject I came across the passage that instructs us to “pray continually” (1 Thess. 5:17 “Never stop praying”). Then I found this jewel: Psalms 66:19 “but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer”.
God hears my prayers and I should never stop praying!
Yeah, but do they make sense? My prayers sound clumsy and inept to me. I listen to others pray and it sounds so nice and seems to flow from their lips like a golden autumn stream flowing in harmony; mine sound like a babbling brook in the spring runoff, (kind of like a stammering fool if you will).
I can envision God patiently listening to my awkward, maladroit, inelegant, prayers and I wonder if it gives Him indigestion.
In my frustration my mind screamed, “Why is it so hard for me to pray.
As this thought occurred to me, I flipped to another passage: “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 with groans that words cannot express.”
Okay it’s 3:00 a.m. and the hair is standing up on my neck. I almost spilled my coffee on that one.
Hmmm… I don’t have God’s infinite wisdom and mercy. He listens in a way that I cannot. He understands what I need and I don’t. God takes care of my weaknesses and limitations by helping me with my prayers, (albeit in a baffling manner that my limited intellect cannot comprehend and words cannot describe). While I cannot express the groans nor understand them, I can be assured that they make perfect sense to God.
Best of all His intercessions for me are always perfectly intelligent and perfectly harmonious with His perfect will.
I am weak but He is strong!
Paul does not say the Holy Spirit removes our “weaknesses,” but that He “helps” us. That indicates to me that I still need to do my part and “never stop praying”, (clumsy or not). We live our entire Christian life in conditions of weakness and our prayer life is not any different. We can take heart in knowing that even though we are weak, we can rely on Christ to strengthen us. Phil. 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
We do not always know what the will of God for our lives is, but He does and He is ready, willing, and able to comfort us. I don’t know about you, but that makes me happy this morning. Say a little prayer right now as you prepare for whatever is ahead of you today. God understands and will fill in the parts you leave out and the end result will be a perfect presentation to Almighty God Himself that the Lord will accept.
The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.