I Don’t Know How to Pray Like I Ought to Pray
Marty Kessler | June 2, 2023

This is not a confession, but a statement of fact. I know it is a fact because one of Jesus’ apostles spelled it out for me in a letter to the church at Rome:

“In the same way, the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should …..”, letter to the Romans, 8:26

A couple of things I believe worth noticing about this are:

1) Apostle Paul, the author, includes himself. He does not say “your weakness” and “you do not know”, but rather “our weakness” and “we do not know”. An apostle of Jesus admits to being among us in not knowing how to pray as he ought. That’s a comforting thought that even this great disciple is not found to be above us in this.

2) The saints (Christians) in Rome are not forbidden to pray or discouraged from praying based on their weakness in not being able to do it as they ought. Instead, at 12:12 & 15:30 the apostle will there urge the church to pray and join him in prayer. What a great comfort that God not only refuses to criticize or disparage our poor prayers, but he encourages them!

3) Finally, and for me best of all, what follows the report that we don’t know how to pray is not detailed instructions on how to pray properly, but rather the revelation that God’s Spirit intercedes for us in our prayers…. “but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words….”. Personally, having the Holy Spirit intercede in this way gives me so much more confidence that my prayers will have the best possible effect. What a comfort this confidence is!

So pray! Pray all the time. Pray about everything that is on your heart and on your mind. Pray when you don’t know what to say or even how you feel. Pray and let God sort it all out.