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. And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (NKJV)
We have all been there. Overwhelmed by our circumstances, we just can’t find the words to cry out to God. I for one am so glad that we don’t have to depend on our own words when we cry out to God; He knows our hearts, and the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf with “groanings” that cannot be confined by an earthly language. What a beautiful picture of God’s deep love for us.
Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall, watching the Holy Spirit intercede on your behalf? I know I would. But I also know that I have seen glimpses into what this looks when my sisters in Christ lift up my children in our Moms in Prayer group. And never has there been a time when that picture was so vividly painted for me than when I went through a season when I was too heartbroken to pray.
On Christmas Eve in 2006, my beautiful, 6-year-old niece Jenna went to be with Jesus after a valiant battle with a brain tumor. Over those 18 months, I cried out daily for God’s healing hand to take away the tumor, and I knew He absolutely had the power to heal. When she died, my faith was shaken; it was hard to understand why God hadn’t healed her here on this earth. But I knew my faithful God loved her more than I could ever imagine, and that is what got me through my grief.
After Christmas break, our Moms in Prayer group resumed their weekly meetings, and I knew I needed to be there. My boys desperately needed prayers; they were all processing their grief in different ways, and it wasn’t an easy road. But when I tried to lift them up in prayer, the tears began to flow, and I couldn’t form the words to intercede on their behalf.
That is where my sisters in Christ took over. With the Holy Spirit guiding them, they lifted up my boys in prayer. The amazing thing is that they knew exactly how to pray for each one of them. The Holy Spirit not only knew what was on my heart; He knew what my children needed the most, and that is how the ladies in my Moms in Prayer group interceded for them. For months, these dear ladies would simply ask, “Who are we praying for today?” Sometimes, it was for one of my boys, and sometimes it was for one of Jenna’s siblings. And then over time, these ladies helped me find the strength to pray out loud again. I truly don’t know what I would have done without these precious prayer warriors in my life.
Now every week, when I go to my Moms in Prayer group, I go with great expectation. The Holy Spirit has already gone before the meeting, giving my group leader a Scripture verse that one of my boys desperately needs prayed over them. I pour out my heart on their behalf, and then I listen as the Spirit moves. My fellow prayer warrior prays in agreement for my son, and then she prays for things I didn’t mention in my prayer. After she finishes, I can’t help but think, “Why didn’t I think about that? That is exactly what he needs right now.” And then I just smile. I don’t have to come up with the perfect words; the Holy Spirit intercedes for our children according to the will of the Father.
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Jackie Marcum has served as the Director of Finance for Moms in Prayer for 6 years and has been a member or leader of a Moms in Prayer group for 14 years. She is also the founder of Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, a crisis pregnancy center in San Diego. Jackie is married and has three adult sons. She received her BS degree in bioengineering.