The Spirit Himself Intercedes
In Matthew 11:4-5, Jesus describes his work on earth: “the blind receive sight and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.”
In the time of Jesus, devout believers would have felt justified in looking down on the blind, the lame, the lepers, the deaf and the poor. And, of course, the dead were the most unclean of all. It was presumed that there was something wrong, flawed, contagious about these people. They were outside of God’s circle and probably themselves had despaired of any divine help in the miseries of their lives. Why should they pray to a God who seemed to have abandoned them?
And then came Jesus, the very Presence of God, who sought out the poor and sick: he didn’t avoid or tolerate them, he sought them out.
As you and I attempt to grow in our faith, we carry the burden of anxiety and concern for the people in our lives who are in need. They may actually be blind or crippled or needy. They may be totally clueless about God (blind), unable to motivate themselves to get to him (lame), covered with the deterioration of addictions and evil habits (lepers), absolutely unwilling or unable to hear about God (deaf), trapped in their own lack, envy of others, greed (poor) or seemingly totally beyond hope (dead).
We pray, we ask God to heal or fix them. Often, it seems that nothing happens.
I invite you, beginning today, to set aside your prayers for those you know and love who are away from God. Just give up. Don’t stop praying, but surrender your prayer to Another.
Remember that God hungers to come to them with a desire that is more powerful than anything you could ever possibly experience in your human heart. As you give up, let Someone Else begin to pray in you and through you. St. Paul admonishes us: “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us… in accordance with the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27).
Allow yourself to be still, to let go and to let the Holy Spirit pray through you. You may experience new words or no words at all; tears or images of Jesus healing or even new insights. Let the Holy Spirit pray through you because He knows the heart of your loved one, the Heart of God and the cosmic love of the Father. Let him use your prayer to bring healing to your loved one…and to you…