Thursday of the Week of Lent IV
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 22:13-23; Romans 8:12-27; John 6:41-51
“Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words. And He who searches the hearts of men knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:26-27).
This is truly one of the most comforting passages in all of Holy Scripture! It has to be right up there with the 23rd Psalm. Some people speak and act and pray as if they always know exactly what God is up to, are totally in sync with His will and are confident of the outcome! Me—not so much. How about you?
It’s at times when we are troubled in life, confused, lost, lonely, grieving that these words of Paul hit home. There have been many times in my ministry when we were at a total loss for words—and prayer.
An arrogant, know-it-all prayer by the pastor in a time of great sorrow or tragedy is worse than just keeping your mouth shut, allowing the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness, interceding with sighs too deep for words. The Spirit, in those moments, searches our hearts and prays, not according to our will, but God’s.
What a blessing are these words of St. Paul! Anyone who has ever been hurting in life, anyone who has lost a baby, lost a son or daughter in combat, truly wrestled with the slow, agonizing death of a loved one knows what Paul is talking about. Let’s not pretend we always know what to pray or how to pray. Let’s rely on God and His Holy Spirit, at times, to help us in our weakness!
Prayer: O Holy Spirit, comforter, advocate and guide—pray in me and with me! Amen.
Lenten Response: List the several people you know who are truly struggling in life at the moment. Take five minutes of silence and ask the Holy Spirit to pray for you, for them!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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Video of each day’s devotion is available here. The 2017 Lenten Devotional, based on Year I of the LBW and written by Pastor David Wendel, is available for download/printing in two formats and as a daily text/email message.
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Source: NALC Devotions