don’t know what to pray for . . .

Likewise 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. 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. Romans 8:26-27, ESV

Although I don’t know this man particularly well, the picture above (from Bob and Renita Reed’s blog) personifies what I love about him. Norm (along with his wife, Mary) have been, for lack of a better word, “pillars” of our church community, and the picture above was so perfect to me because this was often how I saw Norm at church, with kids swarming around him. I am not even clear on the connections, but Norm and Mary had quite a few kids, official and un-official. They have so much love, and give so much.

 As I write this, Norm is desperately ill and at the point of death. (You can read the story by going to www.caringbridge.org and entering the name (no spaces) “normkaterberg”.)

In the latest entry at this site, we are asked to pray for a miracle . . . pray to the God who is certainly capable of such . . . and yet I struggle . . . the Bible says that the Spirit intercedes for us ACCORDING TO THE WILL OF GOD, and yet I am always troubled at times like this, wondering if what we are praying for is really God’s will. In a situation like this, it is easy for me to try to “tell” God that it certainly should be His will, but I have to remind myself over and over again that He is sovereign, that His ways are higher than ours . . . it doesn’t stop me from arguing with Him at times, however . . . and certainly not in this situation.

Then I wonder if I am just lacking in the type of faith that is needed to raise people from the dead . . . if I prayed without a shred of doubt, would the outcome be different? Am I making “sovereignty” some kind of sacred cow, an excuse for not praying in faith, believing for a miracle?

I just don’t know. I can only pray. The verses that start this posting don’t say that we shouldn’t pray just because we don’t know how to pray . . . instead, it implores us to allow the Comforter to work through us.

Those of you who know this Comforter, please join me in praying, though we don’t know how . . .

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