Second Guessing Prayer

Romans 8:26

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The topic was interesting.
The words were well chosen.
The timing was perfect.
Your class was going to love your speech tomorrow. But first you had to try it out on your family.
Well you nailed that, right?
Actually they told you your eye contact wasn’t very good.
You talked too quietly or too quickly.
We couldn’t keep up with what you were saying.

All that negative feedback made you second guess yourself. Do you second guess yourself when you speak to God in prayer? We know he wants us to pray to him. His Son has given us a perfect prayer to use. We know it well, but we also know that our thoughts and words are far from perfect.

Sometimes we even see the cross we bear as God’s feedback, his obvious displeasure, on our imperfect prayers. If only my prayers were better my life would be better. Listen to what God tells you in His Word.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. (Romans 8:26)

The Holy Spirit understands our imperfect prayers and he sanctifies them. He helps us through the word and the sacraments by assuring us that our sins are forgiven. The Spirit removes our doubts and strengthens our faith.

The Holy Spirit teaches us to pray with confidence. Confidence in the Father who graciously hears our prayers and confidence in the Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who has brought us to the Father by his life and death.