Psalm 38:9: “O Lord, you understand my heart’s desire; my groaning is not hidden from you.” (NET Bible)
John 14:26: “But the (Helper) Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and will cause you to remember everything I said to you.” (NET Bible)
In this chapter, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is able to guide us in our prayer. This guidance from the Holy Spirit is dependent on our relationship with God. We can ask the Holy Spirit to help us “stay in touch with our hearts so that we may fellowship with God” and be sensitive to what, when, and for whom He wants us to pray.
In my world, the abyss of the “endless prayer list” can drive me to the place of not praying at all. How freeing to be able to ask God to help me be in touch with the desires of my heart and His.
No story of a miraculous prayer-prompt comes to me at this time as I think about this. What does come to mind though is a habit I have of asking God for a verse from His Word to send, write, pray, or share with a friend or loved one. Most often, the Helper brings to mind a verse, and I pray it out and send it on. Every once in a while, I hear that the verse was exactly what was needed at the right time. Even when I don’t hear anything, I am confident that his Word always accomplishes His purpose. “So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it” (Is 55:11).
The word desire stands out in this chapter both in terms of my desire and God’s desire. How are these related to a relationship with God and prayer? Do I need to have my relationship with God at a certain place in order to pray effectively?
In Luke 11, one of Jesus’ disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Thrasher encourages us to “ask God to deliver [us] from anything that is hindering [us] from praying [our hearts] to God.”