Romans 8:26-27 – 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. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. (NIV)
It was a dull and rather dreary day when I decided to wash the few dirty dishes, rather than put them into the dishwasher. As I stood at the sink, I reflected on the phone call I had just received. A friend had called to see how our son had made out — he having had an operation the previous day.
All had gone well with my son, but it came to my mind that I had been so concerned about myself and my son that I had completely forgotten about what my caller had shared with me the day before.
If the truth be known, after caring for our grandchildren while our daughter-in-law stayed with her husband, I came home exhausted and crawled into bed. I said my prayers, but now it dawned on me that I hadn't prayed for the concern of my friend.
Excuses? Yes, I was tired and weary, marked with stress for our son, but that was no excuse to neglect the cares of another, especially when I had said I would pray for her concern.
How many times have we said, "I will pray for you" — always meaning to add the concern to our prayer list and bring the individual to our Lord — but have neglected to do so?
I thank God that in today's verse from Romans, we have words of promise on which I have leaned: "the Spirit helps us in our weakness," but we should not take things for granted. Perhaps we could aim to ask the Lord about that prayer request immediately, even on the phone, so that we do not fail to carry through on our pledge to pray.
Prayer: Dear Lord, enable us to discipline ourselves so that we will not forget one another in prayer. Help us to come into Your presence to pray for one another when and wherever that may be. When we are weak and more mindful of self, forgive us. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.