The Upper Room Devotion for Wednesday June 28th 2023 was written by Cassius Rhue of South Carolina.
26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. 27And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:26-28 NRSV
GOD'S SPIRIT INTERCEDES
My wife and I developed the habit of praying together before bed each night. Typically, I would pray aloud for our marriage, our children, friends, church, community, and for other concerns of the day, while my wife prays silently. We have learned that time together in prayer is powerful.
Recently after a grueling week at work, finding words for prayer was a struggle. I couldn't articulate my own needs or vocalize my hurt and pain. I managed a few words and "Amen," but just then my wife broke her normal silence. She spoke to my deepest need with a prayer for God to equip me with renewed confidence and courage. Her prayer captured what I had been struggling with - courage to stand up for myself and my family, and confidence to believe in my value, worth, and abilities at home and work.
As I reflected on the weight of both her words and the Spirit's inspiration, I thought of today's scripture reading and took courage. Even when our words are muffled and muddled by pain too hard to express, the Spirit intercedes for us before God.
Who do you turn to when you need prayer? Often times we turn to our pastors/spiritual leaders to intercede on our behalf. Yet, there is beauty and grace in having a cadre of dutiful, faithful, genuine, committed, and mature people of faith around us. People who we have covenanted with to hold us accountable, to lift us in prayer, and who encourage us to yield our will to God. Jesus models the need for accountable relationships when he asks Peter, James, and John to pray with him on the Mount of Olives. Who are the faithful followers of Christ in your life that challenge and encourage you to mature as a disciple of Christ?
Gracious God, when we struggle to pray, remind us that you intercede for us. Thank you for surrounding us with a community that gives voice to our needs and prays on our behalf. Amen.