Aligning yourself for power

 

Aligning yourself for power


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

2 Comments

February 25, 10:52 AM


“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” (Romans 8:26).

I did a double take on that verse today. Before today I would have sworn it said:

“For we do not always know what to pray for as we ought. . . .”

You know how your mind tends to fill in what you think is right, even if it is contrary to the information you have been given? For example, the credit card companies like to spell my name A-N-D-R-E-A, even though I belabor the correct spelling on the phone.

I was quite sure that the verse in question contained the adverb “always.” I had come to the Scriptures with my preconceived notion that we mortals at least sometimes pray exactly the right things, on a good day maybe even 80 percent of our prayers.

But isn’t it even more wonderful, when you stop and think of it, that God’s statement is a blanket one—that “we do not know [ever!] what to pray for as we ought”? I say wonderful because it means that even though God is fully aware of this deficiency or limitation in our praying, He still wants us to keep at it, to keep praying.

Why does He? Well, it would seem that there is a kind of mystical thing that happens when we are engaged in prayer, even as clods with blunt instruments. The verse immediately following this one gives a clue:

“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” (v.27).

I derive from this verse that when we align ourselves with God’s mind by the very act of praying—when we thus “abide” in him—the Spirit also aligns with us and seizes the occasion, as it were, to send up perfect prayers to the Father. We bring the straw and the Spirit alchemizes it into gold. As poor and off the mark as our prayers are, they still are crucial, because without our praying, the Spirit would not be praying through us! As long as we are praying, He is praying.

This understanding of the mystical mechanics of prayer seems to comport well with teachings elsewhere in Scripture about the alignment of our minds with God’s mind through the Spirit (1 Corinthians 1:10-16). If the doctrine were not there in black and white, it would seem heretical to suggest such a notion.

Now if the Spirit takes our misguided little prayers and sends them up perfect to God, that means there is a lot less pressure on us to worry about flawless prayers and covering all the bases in our intercessions. The important thing is to just keep the prayers coming—any old prayers of thanksgiving, or repentance, or worship, or petition. Never again refrain from praying just because you feel your prayers are stupid or unworthy. Every minute on the clock that you are engaged in praying is a minute in heaven that the Spirit is speaking to the Father with wonderfully perfect words on your behalf.

To hear commentaries by Andrée Seu, click here.

http://online.worldmag.com/2011/02/25/aligning-yourself-for-power/