Wednesday, October 3, 2007
It never fails. Whether I pray or read my Bible in the evening, I almost invariably fall asleep in fatigue. The same happens in the morning before I get leave for school. In these stressful, needy times--and when isn't it the "time of need" (Hebrews 4:15)?--I feel like I need to pray even more than usual. I need God to guide me, support me, strengthen me every day, all day. Yet I can scarcely do so in prayer. Whenever I quiet down that much, I just fall asleep or I can't focus.
But in his goodness the Holy Spirit recently brought to my mind a vital and wondrous truth: the fullness of the triune Godhead is praying for me. In Romans 8 it says that in my times of weakness, exasperation, even coma, "the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words" (v. 26). How can the Spirit's prayers for those whom he breathes life ever fail? "And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God [the Father]" (v. 27). Not only does the Spirit himself pray to the Father, but the Father has gladly revealed his will to the Spirit, giving him what to pray for each of his adopted children!
What is more, the Anointed Son himself, approved and vindicated by God in his everlasting reign at the Father's right hand, also prays for us without end. "Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" (vv.34-35a).
In a miracle of mercy, the whole Trinity is involved in unceasing prayer for me, upholding me. There is no worry, confusion, or disagreement among the three Persons. The Father has revealed his will, which is prayed by the Spirit and which was and is accomplished in the Son, who ever lives as our Advocate (parakletos, 1 John 2:1-2; used in John 14, 16 of the Spirit). I need not worry that I fall asleep in prayer; God himself prays for me!
You have been my help,
and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand upholds me.