December 12, 2008

He beats me to it

How can a room that is already too full hold another piece of furniture? I’d thought there is no way, but by taking out two things and consolidating two things, two more can be added. Further, the room now seems larger. Of course I’d prayed about this, and little by little the answers came. Do this, now do this. My husband was more doubtful than I, and he is amazed at the result.

How can a life that is already too full do anything more? By praying, I realize that sometimes God asks me to take on something new, but in the process, He knows how to remove, consolidate and make the resulting to-do list seem easier than it was before. To me, this is mystery, but God knows my needs and often delivers the answer before I clue in and start praying.

This morning I read Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

I know this is about spiritual matters primarily, but God is practical. He is involved in my daily life also. He sees my needs when I don’t see them, and prays for me when I don’t know how to pray, and best of all, prays for me even when I don’t think or feel a need to pray.

The devotional reading put the responsibility on me. It said that I must, “seek the mind of the Spirit, desire to know the will of God. . . . (pray) more fervently, earnestly, sincerely, spiritually, (and) more in accordance with the will of God.” It also said that my praying must “be manifested as the interceding breath of the Spirit of God in my heart” so it will “bring more clear and evident answers down.”

A few lines later, it said, “Above all, seek an inward assurance that your prayers are heard and accepted, and then watch for the answer. This will give you the surest and best of all evidences that the blessed Spirit is Himself interceding for you with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

While this assurance happens, it is more often because God does something, not me. I think of the verses that say how Christians love God because He first loved us. That means He initiates and we respond. The biggest reason I pray is because God speaks to me (in trials and when life is peachy) and lets me know that He wants to hear from me. In this verse in Romans, I realize that His prayers compensate for my ignorance of what I need to pray, and it is that and the answers He sends that melt my heart and give me that desire to seek His mind.

I suppose that after awhile a person might forget who started this cycle, but all I need to remind me is to stop praying. Then I discover that He never stops. In fact, when I read this verse, I could hear the Holy Spirit saying, “Elsie, you mess up, don’t know what is best for you, and most of the time have no idea how to pray, but it is okay; I’ve got you covered.

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