A few days ago, I woke up praying with deep angst for a loved one. I'd been carrying this burden for years and not seeing what I knew was truly the will of God for them according to what the Bible says that the Father has set for us a life well lived - a life free from torment.
I prayed in the spirit. These are the times when I'm grateful that one of the gifts I've received is praying in tongues - when words fail and there's nothing "new" to pray, the Spirit always knows.
And then in frustration I said, "Holy Spirit, what do I pray?!" I thought, This is scary and frustrating and effects a lot of people I love. Then ever so gently, I heard Holy Spirit say, "I am interceding for this one. "
Something so eternally heavy lifted off of me. If GOD is interceding for my loved one then the most powerful prayers beyond the universe are in effect.
My response is gratitude and agreement. I get to join in that intercession but the difference lies in the fact that it truly is not up to my efforts to make a difference in my loved one's life. My job, my honor, my call is to invite Holy Spirit to come have complete sway. Then trust allows me to step aside, get out of the way. I can rest in the love and concern we share for our loved one. Holy Spirit and I. There is no holding at arms length here. No lifting this up to God as if He doesn't already hold it. No begging as if He has to be convinced to care.
And I join in the intercession out of gratitude and compassion for this God who carries us so tenderly. I want to support this Lover of our souls the best I'm able which is not much, but I raise my hallelujah. The phrase from Brandon Lake's song has been rolling through my head over and over.
"And I know it's not much
But I've nothing else fit for a King
Except for a heart singing hallelujah"
(I'll put the link to the song at the end of this entry.)
I didn't actually see that I was doing this prayer thing so poorly - trying to verbally worry my requests before God and call it intercession. It's so easy to confuse worry with passionate care. But they are world's apart. Worry is not from God and, in fact, He tells us not to do it. When He says not to do something and we go ahead and do it, and even try to make it part of how we relate to Him - argh. That must grieve/sadden Him so much that we try to wrap a ribbon of sin around his gift of presence in prayer.
Sure, the Bible also says that we're to carry one another's burdens. But carry them where? Carry them to Christ who takes the weight of them on His own broad shoulders or covers them completely with His sacrificed life.
Carry them how? Yoked to Jesus who said, …28Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”…
OK, wow. Just wow. Live Lightly? It's right here.
In a sense, we either do this together - yoked to Jesus - or I'm simply in the way. If I don't stay close, any words I speak will not come from His whisper.
But Romans 8 says: 25But if we hope for what we do not yet see, we wait for it patiently. 26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. 27And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.…. (Romans 8:25-27 from Bible Hub)
So there's this connection here. I can see it. There's something to learn that I can't learn unless I come close, yoke up and walk where Jesus walks, become humble and gentle with Him.
I'm picturing the oxen yokes. But truth is, He's carrying all the weight.
Romans 8 takes on a whole new vantage point. The whole chapter is about the struggle to shed all the grave clothes of our life before Jesus. But He's carrying us. That makes it read so differently.
I heard someone say recently that the phrase "work out your salvation" is not so much "figure it out and perform it" as it is to recognize that we have been completely forgiven and freed from sin by the work of Christ. It is done. Now we work that inward miracle outward.
I think maybe we learn to express it out as that seed from the tree of life is planted and grows until it crowds out all the rest.
Anyway, my prayer life got lighter this week. I haven't done a good job of wrapping words around the change in my own spirit. But it is HUGE.
Let the day begin!
©2023 Lydia D Crouch