“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. 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” (Romans 8:26-28).
Search the Scriptures and you will search in vain for any prayer in which Jesus didn’t know what His Father wanted done. There were a few times when He was surprised (e.g., the faith of the Roman centurion compared to the faithlessness of His own people). However, even in those instances, He would wait to understand what God wanted done, and then He would pray in perfect, sinless harmony with God’s purposes. Through that praying, the will would be done on earth, just as in heaven. His role, as the Second Adam (of both earth and heaven, dust and Spirit), was to bridge the two realms, invoking heaven’s presence and power through the mediation of His earthly nature.
Heaven and earth intersected in the man Jesus and opened earth to heaven’s influence. Through being joined to Christ Himself (by virtue of His atoning death and His Spirit residing within) heaven and earth intersect in us too. Our praying also opens earth to heaven’s influence as well. Through our intercessions, we act as a conduit through which the power of the Lord can flow through us to reshape the fallen creation back into something that suits God’s purposes. That is the thrust of Romans 8:18-30. We are to discern what God would have us pray, rather than simply to pray, “God do this, if it be Your will.”
Holy Spirit, I am a weak created being without Your power! I am never at a loss for expressing my heartfelt needs to God because Your groaning bursts forth on my behalf, aligned with the perfect will of the Father. You allow heaven and earth to intersect in me…a deep and holy realization! How I give thanks for the privilege of praying the purposes of God into reality upon earth!
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God for the diversity of his creation. Give thanks for your heritage and unique attributes which add to the abundance of God’s diverse creation. Confess those times when you failed to accept and love people unlike yourself. Commit yourself to learning about and thanking God for other cultures. Ask God to stretch your understanding of who he is and what he desires of you.
Ask God to open doors of opportunity for you to share the gospel with someone from a differing background or culture. Pray that God will prepare you for that divine encounter this week.
“God’s power enters our human programs through the door of prayer. Unless the church’s ministry is bathed in prayer, it remains merely a human endeavor.” —Anonymous
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend
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Advent – Day 10
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:5-6)!
Lord, prepare our hearts to trust in You. We rejoice in You because we trust in Your holy name. May we always lean on Your understanding instead of our own so that our hearts will not be troubled. Help us to acknowledge You in all of our ways so that You will make our paths straight. You are our strength and shield as we wait for the coming of the Christ Child. (See also: Psalm 28:7a; Psalm 33:21; John 14:1)
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Connection (Devotions for Everyday Life) © 2013 is published daily by Harvest Prayer Ministries.