As you may already know from prior posts, our nuclear family has struggled with some rather serious health issues, especially with our oldest daughter, Kristin. For the past four years or so she has battled a number of rare disorders – including kidney problems and some vascular/neurological irregularities. She is on a regimen of drugs designed to keep everything under control, but it is like trying to hit a moving target.
Each month things change and Kristin is constantly having her dosages changed in response to ongoing blood test results. She recently had more tests that returned some challenging results. In fact, while it may be positive that they have identified another issue, we are now discussing treatment options and waiting for further test results to give the doctors additional direction as to how to proceed.
For my own part, I have been having a difficult time sleeping the past several weeks. I am at the stage of my own healing where my knees are sore and it is not uncommon to awaken in the middle of the night needing to move around, take a pill, or massage my knees.
So it was no surprise Wednesday morning when I woke up at 3:02 a.m. knowing that I needed to do something to get more comfortable. I was barely awake, not really wanting to move, but I also felt compelled to pray for Kristin’s health. I prayed for a little while but it was difficult to keep my mind focused. I would fall back asleep for a few minutes, wake again, continue praying for Kristin and then drift off to sleep for a little while. It was a very tough night and I was getting frustrated at my lack of ability to stick with my prayer.
Part of me was worried that God would think that I wasn’t serious about my petition as a father – wanting Kristin to be healed. And I make no excuse about my prayer being a selfish prayer. But between my own inability to stay focused amid my own discomfort – and extreme exhaustion – I just couldn’t overcome my barriers to commune with God in the middle of the night.
I am sure that my prayer seemed incoherent to God. He knows that it seemed incoherent to me and it was my prayer! It was then that my frustration reached a fever pitch and I remembered a verse from Paul in his letter to the Romans. In fact, it is our verse for tonight. Paul reminds us that one of the ministries of the Holy Spirit is to pray for us – intercessory prayer – when we are so overcome that we don’t even know what to pray for ourselves.
Paul reminds us, in Romans 8:26-27, “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.”
I was counting on the Holy Spirit to represent me to the Lord Almighty. I even remember saying to Him – “Holy Spirit – I don’t even know what to say – so please handle this for me” as I fell asleep one more time. Several hours later I woke up exhausted, but remembering my petition to the Holy Spirit.
My encouragement this evening is that God knows our heart and the things that we are trying to say to Him. Furthermore, as part of the Godhead, we can trust the Holy Spirit to carry the desires of our heart to the Father and His Son. My prayer is that when you are so distraught that you don’t know which way to pray, you will lean on the Holy Spirit to carry your message with the assurance that it has reached the throne of God in heaven. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace. And if you would happen to remember our family in your prayers, we would appreciate it.