“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”.
Romans 8:26 (ESVUK)
Do you ever forget what you are about to say? I guess we all do from time to time. This week a well-known actor forgot his words mid-speech while on the London stage, but recovered well and went on with the play.
It can happen in prayer. We have a list of things in our mind, perhaps, or some important point to bring to God’s attention, but come the moment, our mind goes blank. Does this happen to you?
In the passage above Paul is addressing the Roman church, and tells them that our communication in prayer does not depend on our ability with words or on how clearly we are thinking. The Spirit recognises our weaknesses, and knows when something is deeply important to us. Maybe we can’t express our thoughts easily because we feel so emotional, or could it also be that sometimes we just don’t remember? Thankfully Jesus remembers and our prayers are a participation in his prayerful relationship with the Father.
When I forget something I wanted to share with the Father, and later it comes back to me, I try to pray right away wherever I am. But, whatever happens, when you forget in prayer, don’t panic, God is still there, and another scripture tells us that “your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:8). The message of grace is not about well we perform in any situation, even in prayer: it’s about how Jesus, through the Spirit, provides for us, and he helps us in prayer.
Keep praying, even when you forget what you intended to say.
From Day By Day, by James Henderson