I know prayer changes things. Prayer changes us. Prayer changes people. But if you don’t have somebody visible that you can pray with, somebody that you can call and tell what your needs are — and I have to be careful myself. I don’t want to depend on my prayer teams for prayer and neglect praying myself, so I also pray. But it’s wonderful to have a visible person pray with you and pray for you.
If you don’t have a visible person, then can I reassure you that the Holy Spirit is your invisible prayer partner?
He’s even better than that, because Romans 8:26 says that He prays for us without words. And I can tell you, in the past four years, after the sudden homegoing of my husband, and then my father, and then my diagnosis of cancer, there were times when I was so deeply hurt, when I was so deeply grieved, when my suffering was so intense, I couldn’t articulate my prayers.
I would just cry out to God. I would just groan or moan. And Romans is telling us that the Holy Spirit takes our groans and our cries when we can’t express our prayers, and He takes them, and He puts them into prayers, and He lifts them before the Father so that He prays for us in that way.
And the Holy Spirit, who lives in me, ever lives before the throne of God. He can just think, and feel, and convey our prayers.
The Holy Spirit knows how to get answers to His prayers. Praise God for the Holy Spirit’s prayers. So, feel free to pour your heart out to Him. Just tell Him what’s going on. Cry. It’s OK. Moan, groan. He’ll take your prayers and translate them into something that is pleasing to God and that receives an answer. And He prays for you.
Can I tell you this? He prays for you with a heart of love.
And, this was a new thought for me when I began studying the Holy Spirit, because Ephesians 4:30 says that we’re not to grieve the Holy Spirit. And we grieve the Holy Spirit when we neglect Him, disobey Him, and resist Him. And so we don’t want to grieve Him in those ways. But I had to pause for a moment, and I thought — I grieve for my mother because she’s gone, and I love her, and I miss her. And I grieve for my husband because I love him and I miss him, and grieve for my father because I love him and I miss him.
Grief is a love word, isn’t it?
If it says that we’re not to grieve the Holy Spirit, then that implies the Holy Spirit loves you and He loves me. And you know what I thought? I thought, when I asked Jesus to come into my heart, and God said, all right, Anne, you’ve invited Jesus to come in. I’m going to assign the Holy Spirit to come into you. The Holy Spirit would come into me, and the Father would tell Him, now, just grow Anne up and make her the best Christian you can make her.
Then, one day, the Holy Spirit would present me before the Father and He would say, well, I’ve done the best I could with what I had. But that’s not it at all.
The Holy Spirit is emotionally involved in our lives. And, when we do the right thing, He rejoices, and when we do the wrong thing, He grieves… because the Holy Spirit wants what’s best for you. He wants you to fulfill God’s purpose for your life.
He wants you to have the fullness of God’s blessing. When we do the wrong thing, He knows we’re hindering Him. We’re hindering the very thing God wants to give us. So don’t grieve the Holy Spirit. He loves you. He loves you. Yes, He does. He loves you, and He’s praying for you with a heart of love.
Because He loves you, He seeks to draw you into the written Word of God, in order that you might know the living Word of God, who is Jesus.
In John chapter 16:13-14, it says this — that “The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth. He will bring glory to Me, Jesus said, by taking from what is Mine and making it known to you.”
I wonder, have you ever struggled to grasp the meaning of scripture, and you thought, if I was just smarter, if I had more education, if I’d been to theological school, if I could — but actually, understanding of Scripture doesn’t come from necessarily Bible school, seminary, or the rest of it.
The understanding of scripture comes from the Holy Spirit. He can give us an understanding, but I think one of the things we need to understand is that He draws us into the written Word of God, that we might know the living Word of God, who is Jesus.
Excerpted with permission from Jesus In Me Online Bible Study by Anne Graham Lotz.
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What about you? Do you feel stuck when it comes to reading your Bible? Could you use a fresh dose of biblical truth in your life? We’d love to hear about how you’re experiencing the Holy Spirit in your life. Come share on our blog!