“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for
but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans
that words cannot express. Romans 8 26 (NIV)
One Saturday, I attended an informational breakfast hosted by a friend who works as a parent advocate for families with special needs children. Another friend spoke to us about dyslexia. This second lady and her husband tutor children who have this particular learning disability.
These two ladies are passionate about their work. My interest in their efforts stems from the fact that when my son was in school, I was unaware of any one to assist my efforts to get what he needed in order to excel at his studies.
In reflecting on what I heard, I realized anew that we, as 21st Century Christians have an advocate in Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. God’s Son referred to the person to come after He left us as the Counselor or the Helper. (John 6:7)
Jesus tells His disciples that the Father will send the Counselor, called the Holy Spirit or the Spirit of Truth. This Counselor will be with Christ’s followers forever. (John 14:16-17) The Counselor’s duties are to teach Christ what they should know and remind them—and us—of what He has said. (John14:27)
In our focus passage, we see one of the major duties of the third person of the trinity—that of intercessor when we can’t speak for ourselves. The closer I grow to Jesus, the dearer this passage becomes.
When I hear of a person with a need, I recognize that one has a temporal need—be it physical, financial, emotional, or interpersonal—and a spiritual one. Either that person needs to know the Lord or needs the Holy Spirit to come alongside and carry that one through them. I have had times when all I could do was pray by repeating the phrase, “the needs. . . .the needs of your people.”
When the Holy Spirit advocates for us He empowers with the strength to be able to meet those needs. He guides each of us through the path or paths we need to take. He surrounds us with protection and with love in each need.
Jesus told the apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:4) In ministry our efforts are successful when we consult with God and ask His guidance through the Holy Spirit. Another friend at church shared information that she and her husband may be doing a new ministry. When God first posed this ministry to her all she could think of was she had just begun one, she had her job and was caring for an ill friend. She was taking care of all these other needs. He told her that she wasn’t taking care of these needs, He was.
Several years ago, I assisted a dear lady when she needed help with some Children’s Ministries activities. One year on Easter weekend, the weather didn’t look to promising for our Easter Egg hunt. My husband was edgy about the forecast. Our options were to chance it outdoors or attempt to bring the hunt inside the church and then stay and clean up the church afterward.
My dear friend finally told me, “I’m not in charge.” What she was saying was God had the weather and the Easter Egg hunt as well as the aftermath in His sight.
Early this week, I received a call from this same friend inviting me to watch a movie with her and possibly two other women, one of whom I did not know. I had been reading a book, entitled, Divine Appointments. The author, a successful businessman, writes about his family’s personal ministry of reaching the lost. On Sunday, I had an opportunity to help a lady at church—a woman who lives six blocks from us but I really didn’t know. Saturday night I started reading this book and asked God to help me be more mindful of the “divine appointments” in my life. He answered my prayer on Sunday and again on Monday.
Thank you for giving us Your Son and accepting what He did for us on Calvary. He made it possible for us to be with You forever. You sent Your Holy Spirit to continue after Jesus’ work was completed. All praise belongs to You. In the name of Jesus, we pray. AMEN