HELP FROM THE HOLY SPIRIT
The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:26,27)
We really don't know how to pray or what to pray for, but the Holy Spirit does and He will help us in our weakness. Help is a fascinating word in Greek (sunantilambano); two prepositions placed in front of the word take. The Holy Spirit comes alongside, bears us up, and takes us to the other side. The Holy Spirit connects us with God. He intercedes for us on our behalf. The prayer that the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray is the prayer that God the Father will always answer.
How does the Holy Spirit help us in our weakness? I didn't know, but one evening while preparing a message on the topic of praying in the spirit I tried something. I said, "Okay, Lord, I'm setting aside my list, and I'm going to assume that whatever comes to my mind during this time of prayer is from You or allowed by You. I'm going to let You set the agenda." Whatever came to my mind that evening was what I prayed about. If it was a tempting thought, I talked to God about that area of weakness. If the busyness of the day clamoured for attention, I discussed my plans with God. I dealt with whatever came to my mind. I wasn't passively letting thoughts control me though. I was actively taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Let me warn you that if you passively listen to your thoughts, you may end up paying attention to a deceiving spirit (1 Timothy 4:1). If you try this kind of praying, you will find out how personal God really is. If God determined and prioritised our prayer list, He would begin with personal issues that affect our relationship with Him. "Come on," God says. "You keep telling others you have a personal relationship with Me. Let's get personal!"
Lord, teach me what it means to pray in the Spirit at the deep, personal levels of our relationship.