Today we continue focusing on the book of Romans, Romans eight verses 26 and 27. Today,  Romans eight is a great chapter on the ministry of the Holy Spirit. And this focus is on the  spirit of prayer. And before getting into the great and wonderful things revealed in Romans  eight let me begin with my icemaker. My icemaker on our refrigerator has a way of conking  out about every year or so. And it's very expensive to replace if you hire somebody and pay  their fee, and then pay the market they do on an icemaker. And so I bought a refurb icemaker  to put in myself. And I've done it before. So I had written down before what to do, and I did it  right. I took out the screws, I had them in the proper order, I disconnected the various little  things that bring in wiring here and there and did that properly. And then I had it to put it back in with the rest of the assembly. And it wouldn't slide back into place, there was a little bundle of wiring and other stuff in the back that is very hard to get a hand on while you're slipping it  back in and for about 20 minutes, I could not get that icemaker to go back to where it needed  to be for me to put the screws back in. And I got very frustrating, finally, I slammed my hand  on the counter and I sat down on a chair, and I prayed for about 30 seconds in desperation,  and then I took that icemaker and it slid and it clicked in in with the screws and I was done.  Now I begin that this sermon on the spirit of prayer because praying about an icemaker is  kind of a dumb thing to do in some ways, in all the great things in the management of the  world that God has to attend to. The ease with which my icemaker slips into place is very,  very low on that list. And I have prayed about things much, much more important to me,  much, much more important to people to whom I was ministering and did not get an instant  result like the icemaker clicking into place. When you're praying for someone with a deadly  disease and they die anyway. Or when you're praying for the emotional well being of  somebody with great psychological struggles. When you're praying for somebody's spiritual  well being or for the affairs of the nation, I trade several icemaker repairs, many, many of  them for the answers I sought on those more important and pressing matters. And that's one  of the things that makes prayer so challenging and so difficult, is because sometimes when  we pray, and particularly petition and ask for things, we get them, and it's wonderful. And  we're so glad for prayer I was I mentioned to Wendy, that how I had prayed about and it went  right in place. After all that frustration. She said well, you should have done it right away. Well, thanks for that excellent advice. Sometimes when you do it right away, the result your desired it does not come right away. This is just one of the things that all of us know by now about  prayer, if we've prayed at all, and yet sometimes God gives an answer on a minor thing and  gives a different answer than we were hoping for, and asking for on a major thing. And that  puts us in a bit of a difficulty. We feel confused, and unsure of how to pray. And in light of the  bigger struggles with the world goes through the groaning creation and our own groaning as  we wait for God to come and make everything new. We're weak. And so one of the important  ministries of the Spirit is to help us in our weakness. Scripture says 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. This is the tremendous statement of Scripture about our weakness in prayer and  the Spirit's help in the midst of that weakness when we're not sure how to ask and how to  pray. And in the larger context of Romans chapter eight, this is a concluding portion on the  work of the Holy Spirit, in our hearts and in our lives and in our creation in our world. He's the  spirit of freedom who sets us free from the law of sin and death, he's the spirit of life, and to  know Him and to have the Spirit, is life and peace. He's the spirit of adoption, by whom we  cry, Abba, Father, and the Spirit himself testifies with our spirit, that we are children of God.  He's the spirit of expectation, as creation groans. And as we groan in expectation for the sons  of God to be revealed, it is the Spirit Himself, who creates that hope, and that desire and  expectation within us. And then within all of that we are praying people, but also in the midst  of a groaning creation, where Christ has come, and the spirit has been given as a down  payment, but not the fullness of what we're yet to receive. It's hard to know whether to pray  and just expect everything we asked for to happen. Or, as part of the groaning and as still  being part of the Fallen creation, things aren't going to happen on our timetable, or as quickly  as we had hoped, in many cases. And then we need the Holy Spirit to help us in our prayer. 

And in our perplexity and difficulty. Prayer is a puzzle for many of us, it's a glorious thing, it's  a wonderful thing to be able to talk to God, it's an amazing thing that he would listen at all  and sometimes answer those prayers. But we're also weak in the midst of this groaning,  creation, and in the midst of our own difficult and challenging lives. And we don't always know what we ought to pray for. Sometimes, we don't know because we just don't have a clear  sense of direction. If you've read the Bible for a while, you know that just offering God a  laundry list does not mean that you're going to get everything on the list. You need to be  praying with discernment of God's direction in your life, of God's purposes of God's promises,  and have a sense of what God wants to give you in many cases, to be able to ask for that with confidence. And so if we're kind of unsure, we're not sure what to ask for. To take a few  examples. If, if you're single, and you really would like to find someone who would be your  spouse, you can pray about that. But you can't know with absolute certainty that God wants  you to be a married person. Or if there's a particular person of interest and you'd say, Lord,  help that person to fall for me. Well, you can pray that, but are you sure that that's the person who would be best for you? Or is it just something that right now you're interested in that  person at the time, and sometimes people have such a strong view on this matter, that they  feel they will miss out on God's best for the rest of their life? If they ask for the wrong person,  or the wrong thing? And God says, Well, okay, if you insist I'll give it to you. But it's not what I  want to give you. So now you're stuck. There are people who feel that they prayed about a  relationship, and the relationship began, but then it fell apart. And they believe that by asking in the first place, they may have wrapped mess up a whole domino effect of people's  relationships as somebody who should have known somebody, but above that I prayed  selfishly, and God gave it to me and I should have been in and yoy can if you think that your  prayers are running the world, and that you will be able to get God's best only if you know for  certainty what God's best is at every turn of the road. Prayer can be extremely frustrating.  Sometimes, prayer is hard for a different reason. How do you pray? Do you pray with  confidence that God is going to grant my request? Or do I say, Lord, here's what I want, but  Your will be done? And is that kind of a cop out? When you ask that way, without complete  faith, that he's going to give what you requested? Do you pray with confidence and boldness  and say, Lord, this is what I want, and I'm believing you for it. Now. Grant it, I claim it in Jesus  name. Well, that's one way to pray. And another way to pray is to pray with almost no  boldness and kind of timidly offer a few thoughts and suggestions and say, Lord, I know that  you know best anyway, so please, just do what you were going to do anyway. And then you  start wondering, Well, what was the point of of asking in the first place, he was just gonna do  what he wanted anyway. And so you can have kind of a divided mind on how to approach  prayer. And and then there are those times in life when you don't feel like saying anything.  When things grind on for days, and months on end, and you don't see the things changing.  And it just gets to be too much for you after a while. It may be a loved one who's wasting  away from an illness, and you just can't take very much more, and you don't have much left  in you, you're overwhelmed What more do you Say you've said everything there is to say,  now what? And we're kind of at a loss, we just don't know what to say anymore. We don't feel  like saying anything anymore. And these are some of the things about our weakness, and  some of the things that we really don't know, when it comes to our prayer life. So prayer can  be one of the greatest and most wonderful things, and the greatest and most humbling and  crushing struggle in the Christian life. Sometimes, you can feel like you've got this Christianity thing kind of figured out, you've got the doctrines fairly well, straight, the behaviors fairly  well, straight. Things aren't going too terribly badly. And then you try to pray for a while. And  your lack of a sense of God's presence, your lack of clarity about what he wants you to ask for and under uncertainty about what to do next. If nothing else will humble you, spending some  time in prayer will almost surely do it. Because prayer is hard. And it's something that no  matter how far we advance in the Christian life, we still have very, very far to go. If the  Apostle Paul could say, we don't know what we ought to pray for the man who had been to  Heaven and back, the man who had seen the risen Lord Jesus Christ, the man who wrote 13  books of the Bible said, we don't know what we ought to pray for, then maybe I will run into a  few situations where I'm baffled and perplexed as well. To take just the most famous example 

of Paul not knowing what to pray for, though he prayed anyway, he says, there was given me  a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is  made perfect in weakness. Paul didn't know the correct thing to ask for. In that situation, he  thought he did. And he pleaded, because he knew it was a messenger from Satan as well. He  knew that this affliction whatever it was, came from Satan. So Surely God would want to get  rid of it. And it may be something that made him weaker. And you know what God wants me  to be strong for ministry. So what can be more obvious than to take away the messenger of  Satan, and make me strong for ministry? What's not to like about a request like that? And God didn't give it. And Paul later came to realize a couple of things. He saw this incident in light of  his trip to heaven and back, and to the fact that he saw things that no one was permitted to  tell. And he says, God, allowed that thorn to remain with me so that I wouldn't become  conceited by the surpassing greatness of these revelations, some of us think, Oh, if only God  would show more of Himself to us, and more of the heavenly world, we would be so much  better people. And that might be so. But if he showed that to us, he might also have to do  something else to us. Because the apostle himself recognized that those revelations would  make him think he was better than everybody else, and become conceited. But this  messenger from Satan, let a lot of the air out of his balloon. And he also came to discover  something else. When God is going to use somebody, it is not always when they're at the top  of their game. It is not always when they're the picture of blooming health, when they're  flourishing, and people are all flocking to them. And things seem to be going extremely well.  Sometimes, I am strongest at my weakest. When I seem to be unable to do anything more,  when I'm at my most vulnerable when I'm just kind of bumbling along. Sometimes, then is  when God's power shines most clearly. Not when people are saying, Ooh, aah, what a guy.  He's really got it together. And so Paul, realized that the prayer was not answered in this  particular case, because it kept him from becoming conceited. And because it allowed God to  use him more powerfully, when he was weak, than if he had had everything that he wanted,  we don't know what to pray for. Jesus himself, had his most central request refused. Just as  Paul had a request refused, Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, fell to the ground and prayed that if possible, the hour of his suffering and crucifixion would pass from him. Abba Father, he  said, everything is possible for you take this cup from me, yet not what I will, but what you  will. He went away a second time and prayed. He went away once more and prayed the third  time saying the same thing. He prayed three times He sweat blood. And he did get an answer. And angel came to him and strengthened him. But God did not take that great burden of the  world's suffering away from him. And so Jesus Himself knows what it is to want desperately,  some thing and to be given something very different. And that's all part of prayer. And yet, he prayed. He prayed for the opposite of what he got. And so, and then it wasn't wrong, or sinful  for him to do so because he was without sin. So somehow, it's okay to pray for something that God doesn't want to give you, at least that sometimes that's an important lesson in and of  itself, then sometimes when you're not sure, or you're not 100% positive, or you just have a  strong, strong desire for God to do something, just go ahead and ask him. It doesn't mean it's  wrong. It doesn't mean he's going to give it to you either. But sometimes it's okay to ask for  the thing you very much want, and that God might not want to give you. During the days of  Jesus life on Earth since he was five or seven. He offered up prayers and petitions with loud  cries and tears, to the one who could save him from death. And he was heard because of his  reverent submission, he was heard, he didn't get the request that he asked that the cup just  not be given to him. But when the cup was given, God gave him strength, and then God  raised Him from the dead. So those prayers and loud cries and tears are part of Jesus Prayer  Life and part of ours. Don't forget what it says in Romans 8:17. If indeed we share in his  sufferings, and we also share in His glory, we may be sharing in his sufferings in the struggles that he had in prayer, in our own prayer life. Romans eight speaks of crying out to Abba,  Father, by the Holy Spirit, we think, Oh, what a glorious thing that we can cry out Abba,  Father, in the Holy Spirit to our Father, what a wonderful thing it is. But the only time we read  of Jesus crying out Abba Father, actually, I'm sure he prayed that way often. But in the Garden of Gethsemane is where he prayed Abba Father, when he knew God to be his father, when he 

was not given what he asked for. And so part of our groaning with creation, and part of our  Christian living, is going to be sharing in Jesus sufferings and sometimes sharing even in  struggles in prayer. Groaning is an important theme in Romans chapter eight. It's a glorious  chapter of assurance. It's a wonderful chapter about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, applying  Christ's work and connecting us with the Father, there's a lot of groaning in it too the whole  creation, has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth. We ourselves who have the first  fruits of the Spirit groan inwardly, as we we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the  redemption of our bodies. And then the Spirit Himself intercedes for us. With groans, that  words cannot express. So creation groans, we groan with the creation, the holy spirit groans  within us. Groaning can be a good thing. Groaning because of what is wrong in the world,  both what is broken, as well as what is sinful, it's okay and right to groan, and groaning as a  God given gift, because it's the groaning of childbirth, of something better coming of the birth pangs of a brand new world. And so groaning is a gift of the Holy Spirit, that the creation is  awaiting and groaning in the pains of childbirth. And we are too as we look for God's new  creation. And so our groans are echoed by the Holy Spirit's groans. And that's, that's a  comfort in and of itself. Because all too often we have a view of God, that He always keeps  himself at a safe and serene distance from what's going on in our world. This is not so Jesus  Christ prayed with loud groans and tears, and was a man of sorrows and familiar with  suffering. The Holy Spirit groans for us with groans that Words can't express. And the Father  Himself is not far removed from the life of the Son, and of the Spirit, but is intimately involved in the life and being of the Trinity. So it is a mistaken view of God that God is simply separate  and totally distant from the struggles of his world. The words of groaning under the cries of  the spirit and the Son make that very clear. Now, when it comes to things that you can't put  into words, maybe the first thing to think of is a baby. Babies can't talk. All they can do is yell  and cry, or maybe let out a few little whimpers at first. And then they turn up the volume, if  that's not working, and parents need to figure out why they're crying. And sometimes that's  fairly easy. A lot of the time in the routines of life, you kind of know what the little one wants.  And if you if one thing doesn't work, you try another thing. Is the diaper wet? You check that?  Well? Yeah, it's wet. So you change it. And the cry might cease. Or it might continue and you  say, Well, how long has it been since feeding? So you feed the baby, and the baby quiets  down? Yeah, that worked. Or the baby's still mad and you say, I guess that baby needs a burp. And then the baby may keep on howling. And you say, Well, I think it's time to put that baby  down, and give it some sleep. And if nothing seems to work among those options, then you  say, Well, I wonder if the baby's got a stomach ache, or if the baby's got ear infection or some other kind of illness. And then it really gets dicey. Because it gets harder and harder to figure  out what's wrong with a baby. If all the baby can do is cry, but not say My stomach hurts or  My ear hurts, or mom, would you hurry up and get me some food? So there are many things  that a baby can't put into words. Now, how many parents here say well, until that little stinker learns to talk? I'm not giving it a thing. That baby if it's going to tell me what it wants too bad? Well, the fact is that babies get a lot of help from parents, before they can ever put into  words, what they need. And this is an encouragement in prayer. Because if we don't know  what to ask for, or what words to use, does that mean the Father in heaven is going to wait  and say, well, until they figure this prayer thing out, I'm not going to give them anything  worth having because they didn't tell me what they needed. And sometimes, unfortunately,  teachings on prayer that circulate can get us going in the wrong direction, they'll say, Well,  you need to be able to ask specifically for what you want, or God's not going to give it. There  may come a stage in prayer, where God does want you to be able to put into specific words  what you want, or what he wants to give you. But think again, of the baby. There are many  times when we just can't put into words, what is most needed, but God knows anyway, the  one who searches our hearts, knows what our groans mean, but he knows even more  importantly, what the Spirit from within us is saying about what we need. When you get  beyond babyhood. Sometimes communication is still challenging, you might have a teenager  who has things that are troubling her, that are really a major issue, or thing that is hurting,  and she can't really express what it is to her parents. Or sometimes she might be very  transparent in the sense that she tells her parents exactly what's going on, or exactly what 

she's feeling. But she herself doesn't know what the real issue is. She may say, Well, this, this  and this are really bugging me. But I don't know why. It's that way. I don't know what causes it in the first place. And for parents, that's a real struggle, because you're just if she can't figure  it out, how are you going to figure it out. And this is one of the struggles of living life in a in a  

broken world. But even here, we can take some comfort, the Spirit helps us in our weakness,  when you don't know what's wrong with yourself. And when the people around, you can't  figure it out, or you can't put into words or explain what it is because you don't know. There is  still somebody who does. And he can speak to the Father, not even in words, because human  words might not even capture it. But divine communication can do the job. And that's a great  comfort that when there are times when we want to diagnose accurately and deal with  something specifically. But there may be times when we just can't, or at least not yet, but the  Holy Spirit is still at work. Sometimes a couple may have a hard time communicating, they  may assume too much the other person ought to know what I'm thinking and then not say  what they actually are thinking. But there are also times when a couple communicates  without words. Sometimes when you've been with somebody a long time, you don't need to  really say very much. You raise one eyebrow and they know exactly what you're thinking. Or  you shake your head just a little bit or you smile a little bit okay. Nothing, nothing more needs  to be said. because you know, and there is that kind of communication also in the life of the  Spirit and interacting with God, some things can be communicated and you don't need the  words for it. You can pray without words sometimes. And the the love of your heart, or the cry  of your heart is, is going to be coming in the power of the Holy Spirit to the Father, and you  might not have the right words for it. It may not sound like much of a prayer, if you did utter  any words, and yet it can be a very powerful prayer. Because there is such a thing as  communication greater than words. There's a song that says prayer is the soul's sincere  desire, unutterd or expressed the motion of a hidden fire that trembles in the breast. Well,  what's that hidden fire? That's the fire of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is the burden of a sigh, the  falling of a tear, the upward glancing of the eye, when none that God is near. Prayer's, more  than those things there are there are prayers that you put into words, but some prayers you  don't, and that's still praying. And the Bible says He who searches our hearts knows the mind  of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints, in accordance with God's will  intercedes is a big word, that just means that the Spirit is speaking for us. He's saying what  we couldn't say, but kind of needed to say, The Spirit just kind of takes over. We may say one  prayer, and what God's hearing really, at the throne is what the Spirit is saying. And it may be quite different from what we were praying, but it'll be the corrected, and highly improved  version of what we were wanting, or needing to say. And so the spirit is interceding for us  from within us. And somebody else is interceding or speaking for us. Christ Jesus who died  more than that was raised to life is that the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.  So when we pray, and when we're unsure of how to pray, somebody living inside us, the Holy  Spirit of God is sending up messages. And somebody at the right hand of God is taking and  bringing those messages to the Father. And when we're praying, you really have the  intercession of the Holy Spirit, and the intercession of Jesus, just as you have the groaning of  the Holy Spirit, and the loud cries and tears of the Lord Jesus Christ, when He came to save  us, we have God Himself engaged on our behalf, and who's the searcher of hearts, well he  who searches our hearts is God. And in particular, in this context, God the Father, and God is  the one who searches hearts that appears again, and again and again in the Bible that God  knows exactly what is in every human heart. And sometimes it's in a context of God judging,  or of God assessing. He knows what's going on. Nobody's going to fool him. Jesus said to the  Pharisees, God knows your heart. And sometimes God's people would pray well Search me, O  God, and know my heart, test me and know my thoughts. See if there's any offensive way in  me lead me in the way everlasting. Another prayer, let the words in my mouth and the  meditations in my heart, be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my rock and my Redeemer, God  knows the heart, and we want what's in our heart to be pleasing to Him. And so sometimes  when we think of God, the Father as the searcher of hearts, we may think of him primarily as  the one who knows what's wrong with us. Even that can be a comfort, you know, it can be a  little scary, or maybe a lot scary at times. But it's also encouraging to know that our flaws 

don't strike him as a shock. And a huge surprise. He knew our hearts even before we did  something wrong that showed what was wrong with our hearts. So he knows these things.  And sometimes we should tremble before him in the fact that he knows us and judges us. But  in this context, he's the searcher of hearts in a different way. He's searching our hearts, to see what needs helping. He's searching our hearts, to see what can I do for this person that will  bless them and make them more like the Lord Jesus Christ, and more able to flourish in life  eternal. He's searching constantly, for ways to bless and build and strengthen and grow us.  And so what a tremendous comfort it is, to know that God the Father Himself, is looking for  ways to help us and to strengthen us and that as he's looking for ways to bless us and help  us, he's being egged on so to speak by Jesus the Son, and by the Holy Spirit, you have the  whole Trinity involved when whenever we pray, you receive the Spirit of sonship. And by him,  we cry, Abba, Father, so you have God sending the Spirit of his Son into our hearts crying  Abba Father God, the Father, sending His Son, the spirit. And that's what moves us to call God our Father. Through Christ, we have access in one spirit to the Father, this is one of the most  astounding things about prayer is that when you're doing it, even when you're doing it kind of confusedly, and poorly, you are getting tangled up in the life of the Holy Trinity. And you are  getting involved and becoming a partaker of the divine nature because you're in fellowship  with God, even when your prayers are imperfect. Jesus spoke of the great trinity of love and of God's desire to bless he said, The Spirit will take from what is mine, and make it known to  you, I tell you the truth, my father will give you whatever you ask in my name, Ask and you  will receive, and your joy will be complete. I'm not saying I will ask the Father on your behalf,  know the Father himself loves you, because you've loved me. And I believe that I came from  God. And that was that last sentence Jesus wants to make clear now, I am interceding. I am  your advocate with the Father. And the Holy Spirit is interceding on your behalf. But don't  think that the intercession of the Spirit and of the Son is because God is God, the Father is  really reluctant. And he needs the Holy Spirit first to take a shot at it and ask Him for what we  need. And then the son's got to take a run at it and intercede for us. And then maybe the  reluctant father will say, well, all right, because you're, you keep bothering me all I'll grant  that person what the Spirit and the Son. No, it's not that way. Jesus says the Father Himself,  loves you. And the whole reason that the Son and the Spirit are interceding for it is because  the father appointed them to do so in the first place. And the entire Trinity is for you. And as  Paul asked, within a few verses in Romans eight, if God is for us, who can be against us, God  is for us. That is the great message here. When we think about the Trinity's involvement in  prayer, he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit. That's one of those  arguments in Scripture, you know, how Jesus said, Well, if, You know, if a sparrow matters to  God, then how much more do you matter to God? Well, here he's saying, Well, if God knows  your heart, how much more is he going to know the mind of his own spirit. He knows the mind of the Spirit. Because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. The  spirit is not trying to talk God into something, or try to persuade the father, he's, he's talking  to the Father, in accordance with what the Father already wants. Or as Jesus himself put it,  your Father knows what you need, even before you ask him. So don't think you have to be like the pagans who go yada, yada, yada, yada, yada. And they're always yackety yak and  thinking that if they make long speeches in prayer, then God is more likely to listen, or who  thinks that they somehow have to discover this formula or that to get the results they want  from God, and how your Father knows what you need, before you ask him and the spirit is  interceding with the saints in accordance with the Father's will. And then he goes on to say,  and we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him, who have been  called according to His purpose. So God, the Father is constantly working for the good of  those who love Him, and who have been called according to His purpose, and we can be sure  that God is going to do what the spirit and the son ask for in accordance with His will. And this is why we can offer up lots of prayers and don't think we're wrecking the universe by offering  up the wrong prayer and getting an answer that God says all right, I'll just give it to you, even  though it's bad for you. That that's not how prayer works. That's not how the discernment of  God's will works. We're not going to bat 1000 in discerning God's will, for particular situations, we're probably not going to bat 200. Okay. God is not easy to figure out and the ways of the 

universe are not easy to figure out. Tim Keller says God will only give you what you would  have asked for, if you knew everything he knows. That's kind of the message of Romans  eight, verse 28, God works all things for the good of those who love Him. But you have to  know all things and be in command of all things in order to know exactly what answer in a  given situation ought to be given. And that is what God gives. He'll give you what you would  have asked for, if you knew everything he knows, and if you are as pure and in line with his  purposes, as he is. So the Lord Jesus says, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears  us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked  him that's in the first letter of John, inspired by the Holy Spirit. So again, the key to getting  what You asked for every time is knowing with exact precision what God's will is in that  situation. In some situations, God will indeed do that. He will let you know what's coming even before he gives it. And he will enable you to ask for it with that kind of precision and boldness  and clarity. There are also those Romans eight kind of prayers, where we don't know what we  ought to ask for. And then we, well, what do we do? Do we just not pray? Do we just say, Well, I guess in this case, I'm just going to leave it to God and not pray about it at all. That is not  how you respond to things. A wrong view of understanding God's will in the first place is that  you should never do anything unless you know precisely and have a direct revelation from  God what to do in that situation. And you shouldn't pray unless you know exactly what you  ought to pray for in that situation. There are many times when we are prayed, we're called to  pray, even when we don't know quite what to pray for. And we were called to act. Even if we  have not had a direct divine revelation for that situation. It will cause great havoc in your  spiritual life in your prayer life in your decision making. If you have a view that God always  sticks, a red pin, and it is your job to find out exactly what that pin is, before you offer a  prayer. Before you take an action, there are times when you will pray without knowing what to pray about. And there are times when you will act, and you will be seeking to act within the  realm of what's biblically permitted, but you won't have God's message, that is the boy you  should go out with. That is the car you should drive. There are times when you're gonna have  to make decisions without that clear of a revelation. And it's okay. But there are also times  when he does make something clear, then pray for it. And by all means go for it. Much of life  is navigation. And the spirit is not quite like your friendly GPS, where at every turn in the road, you hear this somewhat irritating metallic voice saying Turn right. And if you don't do it right,  recalculating. But there is something true about even that analogy. We sometimes think we're gonna miss out on God's best and God's purposes for us if we blow it here or there. Well,  there is that recalculating option that God has, and he will still get you where he wants to get  you, even if it takes a little different route than was originally there. So we can take great  comfort from God's working all things for our good. And and again, sometimes we get exactly  what we asked for. Sometimes we don't. Here's a well known prayer by somebody, I think it's  anonymous, at least I don't know who spoke or wrote this prayer, I asked for strength that I  might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health, that I  might do greater things. I was given infirmity, that I might do better things. I asked for riches  that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might  have the praise of men, I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life, that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing I  asked for. But everything that I had hoped for, almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers  were answered. I am among all men most richly blessed. So there may be times when you're  getting almost nothing you asked for. And it's all good. Because your father in heaven knew  what you needed when you couldn't put it into words. And the Spirit asked for it. The son  asked for it, the Father gave it and you're blessed. And then again, let's ask that question one  last time. Well, if we're often asking amiss, or off target, and God's just going to correct it  anyway, why ask at all? Why not just let our only prayer be thy will be done, and call it quits.  While we're still called upon to struggle in prayer at times, to ask to pour out our hearts. And  here are some reasons why the spirit causes us to do that. He stirs us up, to pour out our  hearts and to love interacting with the Trinity, even when we're not quite sure what the Trinity is up to, even when you're not quite sure what God is up to just to be in his presence, and talk about him, to talk with him and to tell him what's on your heart. And you'll say, well, that's 

interesting. You know that I love to know what's on your heart. Now. I'm going to still answer  some things that should have been on your heart and weren't. And that's okay. You grow in  your relationship, even when you're not always getting what you want. You grow in your  relationship just because you're with him. And because you're talking with him. Another thing  is that even if the Spirit brings the prayer to God, and God grants it and it's based on Jesus  merit, that does not mean that God goes around is giving all sorts of things to people who  don't who never asked. God may give us something different than what we asked for. But it  doesn't exactly say that he's going to give us things if we don't ask at all. In fact, there's  verses in the Bible say you don't have because you don't ask. So we might ask for one thing  and get another. But the very fact that we went to him in the first place is is a thing that  moves God's heart, and causes him to give you things. And here's another thing, God does  give many things we asked for, he might get the icemaker back in place, you know, doesn't  hurt to ask. God gives many things we asked for. And we're perplexed when he doesn't, and  we're not always sure how to ask. But ask anyway, because sometimes you're going to get  that. And sometimes, if you don't get that you'll get something better. So he gives us many  things we asked for, and He lovingly improves some, maybe even many of our requests. And  as we go through that process over the course of a lifetime, as you pray, and interact, you  become more sensitive to the Spirit. And you may have a clear awareness of God's guidance  and purpose for a particular situation. And you can pray with greater boldness than you used  to. And as you're praying, you're becoming more like Jesus, sometimes even in the struggle of prayer, or crying Abba Father, just please take this away from me. You're becoming like Jesus  in his sufferings, and so you'll become more like Him in His glory as well. You're becoming  more in tune with the Father, if you never interact with him, you're not going to have more  and more of the mind of Christ, you're not going to have more and more sensitivity to the  Spirit. But when we do pray, even when we find it confusing or difficult at times, we become  more and more involved in the life of the Trinity and more in tune with each person of the  Trinity. And prayer has power, the prayer of a righteous person is powerful, and effective. Our  prayers as we keep on praying, grow in power with God, and an impact on the world. Prayer  changes us. And it is a good thing. But don't buy into that one sided teaching that the only  purpose of prayer is to just change us and God's going to do what he wants. Anyway. There is  something about prayer, that I probably better not phrase it quite this way. But the prayer  changes God or at least gets from God, something that would not have been given had we  not prayed about it. So our prayers do grow in power, we, we can be blessed and thankful  that God's will is going to be worked. But let's not underestimate the power of prayer to  prevail with God, and to make a real impact on the world. So, keep on praying, as the Bible  says, pray in the Spirit, on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests that particular  text is in the in the context of spiritual warfare, and battle with that powers of evil but pray in  the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. Your friends, build  yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's  love. As you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to bring you to eternal life pray in the  Spirit. The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We don't always know what we ought to pray for.  but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with words, with groans, that words cannot express  and he searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the  saints, in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things. God works for the good  of those who love Him, those who are called according to His purpose. Those are the promises of God, concerning prayer. Lord, we praise You for Your spirit, for the intercession that he  makes from within us, when we are weak and don't know how to pray. We thank you for your  son, who came into this world and cried to you with loud groans and tears and was heard, and who now pleads our case, at the right hand of God. And we thank You, Father, that You sent  your son and your spirit and that you know what we need before we even ask and that you  are indeed at work according to your purposes for us. And so we pray that we may be able to  pray boldly and humbly and submissively and to grow each day in grace in the knowledge of  our Lord Jesus Christ. In his name we pray, Amen.

最后修改: 2022年01月3日 星期一 06:53