Have you ever had to interpret for a toddler? As little ones learn their words, it can be hard for them to get the pronunciations right. Water might become “wawa.” Dog might become “dah.” Potato might become “bay-yo.” And yellow balloon might become “wahyo boon.” Often, a little one needs an interpreter from their household to explain what they’re saying to any visitors who aren’t used to this toddler’s own personal dialect.
In a way, we’re all a little like toddlers. Just like these little ones need help communicating, all Christians need that kind of help sometimes when we pray. We don’t always know what to say or even what to ask God for, but Jesus has given us the Holy Spirit to help us. The Holy Spirit makes our requests clear and right before God.
Romans 8:26-27 says, “The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.”
Do you ever feel like you don’t know how to pray? Is it sometimes hard for you to tell God what you need or how you feel? This happens to all of us! When we have trouble finding the right words, the Holy Spirit takes our prayers and makes them just right. So we don’t need to worry when we find it difficult to pray—God hears our prayers and will give us exactly what we need. • A. W. Smith
• Can you think of a time when you didn’t know what or how to pray? How might it be comforting to know that God still understands us and knows what we need?
• Sometimes we don’t have words at all. When we pray, we can use the words in the Bible to help us too. Almost the entire book of Psalms is prayer in song form, and in Matthew 6, Jesus lays out what’s known as the Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father, a simple prayer that shows us how to pray for God’s kingdom to come as we talk to God about our daily needs—even when our words fail. Are there any prayers from Scripture that have resonated with you? Which ones?
But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. Romans 8:26b (NLT)