With a son in Iraq, a worried military mom learns to pray for his safety without fear, without hesitation.
Posted in , Jun 26, 2015
In the same way the spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:26-28)
One night, as I struggled to pray for my son in Iraq, I flipped through the pages of my Bible. I did that frequently, searching for verses to bring me peace. As I paused in my page turning, I saw I was in Romans chapter 8 and immediately verse 28 popped out.
My response wasn’t very spiritual. At that time in my life that particular verse was not my favorite. As a matter of fact it irritated me. Truthfully it wasn’t the verse’s fault. What aggravated me (and still does) was the way believers throw it in the face of anyone who’s facing difficulty.
As I stared at the words of that verse, I had to make an effort not to give a mental eye-roll. “Really, Lord? In circumstances this desperate, this is the verse that shows up?” Even as I was mentally complaining, the two preceding verses caught my eye. They were also a familiar passage, and I’d turned to them frequently during these trying times.
But I’d never read the three together—as one complete thought.
That night I did, and I found such comfort. In the back of my mind I’d always worried that if I didn’t pray exactly right, I might somehow contribute to catastrophe in my son’s life. Writing this now shows how utterly crazy a thought it was, but it was how I felt.
Those verses addressed that fear directly and totally refocused my prayer life. Where once I’d prayed with hesitation, I now stormed the gates of Heaven with abandon, knowing that God’s Spirit would intercede and make my feeble attempts strong and clear.