An old African-American spiritual song contains the lyrics “It’s me oh Lord, standing in the need of prayer.” Why would someone tell God that he or she required prayer? Wouldn’t it make more sense just to pray?
There are times when the situation is complex and confusing. I truly desire God’s help, but I have no clue what that means. What can I do?
Scripture gives the answer: “we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us.” In an act of kindness and grace, God sees my bewildered state, articulates my request, and acts upon it. I might not even be aware it’s all happening.
Books and teachings on the topic of prayer abound, claiming to reveal foolproof methods for getting God to do what we want by asking in precisely the right way. But prayer is not a talent to be mastered, like oratory or persuasive debate. Sometimes we only know we are standing in the need. And that’s enough. The Lord will do the rest.