Day 6: Intercession (Praying with the Spirit)
St. Patrick describes the experience of praying with the Holy Spirit. “And once again, I saw him praying within my soul; it seemed as if I was still inside my body, and then I heard him above me, that is, over my inner man. So that there he was, praying with many a groan, and as all this was happening, I was stunned and kept marvelling and wondering who he might be, who was praying in this wise within me. But as this prayer was ending, he declared that it was the Spirit. In such ways I have learned, by my own experience.
And I recalled the words of the Apostle, ‘The Spirit comes to support the failing in our prayer. For we do not know how we should pray as we ought. But the Spirit himself asks for us, with so many groans, that may not be described.’ (Romans 8:26) And once more it is written, ‘The Lord himself is our advocate who asks on our behalf’. (John 2:1)”
Sometimes our hearts pray when we cannot put words to our prayer. Other times it is our tears or longings. The Spirit of God prays in us when we do not know how to pray ourselves.
Have you ever experienced that?
Today recall a time when the Holy Spirit supported your prayer or ask Him to do so now. Perhaps there are areas in your life that you don’t really know how to pray about. Ask God to assist you. Take a few moments to become aware of God’s presence with you, invite Him to guide you and lead you in life and in prayer.
Intercession is a prayer that listens to the heartbeat of God and turns in into words. Is there something dear to your heart, an area of need in the world that needs prayers? Spend some time praying for it and know that God listens intently and supports your prayer with sighs that are too deep for words.
A thought for the day (from St. Patrick’s Breastplate): “Christ in every heart thinking of me”.
© Iva Beranek (Dublin, March 2016)