There is Help When You Don’t Know What to Pray

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When life is hard and tears flow . . . it's hard to find the words to pray. Good news. You have an Advocate for times when you don't know what to pray.

Some church bodies focus the majority of their attention on the power of the Holy Spirit and others barely talk about Him at all. It’s easy to talk about God the Father and Jesus, but it’s harder to understand the gift of the Spirit. 

Jesus told His followers:

I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—He will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” John 14:25–26

I love the thought of the Holy Spirit being our Advocate:

  1. a person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc. often an advocate of peace.
  2. a person who pleads for or on behalf of another; intercessor.

That He continues to teach and remind us of everything Jesus taught His followers.

When life is hard and tears flow . . . it's hard to find the words to pray. Good news. You have an Advocate for times when you don't know what to pray.

I’m especially thankful the Bible also says the Holy Spirit helps us with our prayers:

And 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. And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. Romans 8:26–28

I’ve had times when there were no words. When circumstances were so overwhelming I didn’t know how or what to pray.

Have you ever been there?

When grief crippled or fear paralyzed? When you wanted to pray, but your heart was so flooded with emotion you couldn’t speak? When “Lord, help me!” were the only words available?

That’s when the Spirit who knows you and me better than we know ourselves turns to the Father on our behalf, pleading for us in agreement with God’s perfect will.

Other translations of Romans 8:27 say:

The Holy Spirit prays for those who belong to Christ the way God wants Him to pray. (NLV)

The Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (NIV)

He [the Spirit] keeps us present before God. (MSG)

The Spirit speaks for His people in the way that agrees with what God wants. (ERV)

Isn’t it comforting to know you don’t need the perfect words. You can bring everything and anything to God in prayer. The Spirit knows what we need and He knows God’s will.

The Advocate. The Counselor. The Comforter. The Spirit of Truth. The Spirit of Life. The Help when you don’t know what to pray.

How’s your prayer life?

If you’re like me, it’s never what you want it to be. But we have an Ally, who teaches, reminds, counsels, and comforts. Who invites us to come and pray.

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. Ephesians 6:13–18

You and I don’t have to lift up powerful prayers. Because when we pray in the name of Jesus, we pray with help to the One who is all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present . . . the One who knows and loves always and forever.


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  1. Thank you my friend! Enjoy a day full of blessings!

  2. Love this post! There’s been times in my life where I didn’t know what to pray for. In hindsight, the Holy Spirit was with me even though it felt like He wasn’t there at all. It’s amazing how God shows these things in His own timing.

    1. Thank You Samantha. I’m also thankful the Holy Spirit knows what our friends and families need when we don’t know how or what to pray for them. It’s comforting to know the One who is always mindful of our needs.

  3. There have been times only a groan will do. I am glad I have ONE who is willing to take my groanings to the Father when I am unable to.

  4. Hi Deb! I think it is such a comfort to know that Jesus realizes our problems with prayer. It’s not that I doubt him, I doubt myself. But he sends his Spirit to pray for me! (Which I need.) What more can he do?
    Nice to see you again 🙂

  5. Such a relief to know I don’t need the perfect words to pray to God. The Holy Spirit is my wonderful comforter always. Blessings, Deb!

  6. This is such a timely post for me. I have been there, just two weeks ago. We had a medical scare with one of my children with what could have been serious and life changing outcomes. I held fast to knowing that the Holy Spirit can intercede for us when all I could do was beg and plead to God that he didn’t take my son from me, which was literally all I could pray for the entire 2 week period that we faced this.

    This post is full of such powerful and vital information. Thank you for sharing!

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