When the Spirit helps us to pray… Have you had moments when you meet someone new or are talking to a friend, and the conversation comes to an end, and you do not know what to say? Or maybe another time you are faced with some incredibly difficult news that leaves your heart and minds numb with shock? Or at a not-so-critical time, you are asked to do something new, perhaps a new job task that is unfamiliar – and there may be a moment of not knowing what to do next. We all have moments when we are stuck, confused, numb or just out of words to say. But all of these times involve our relationship to other persons involved in our situation.
Prayer can be like this…it is our relationship with God. Often we learn to pray more formally, with familiar prayers such as our liturgy, the Our Father, or the rosary. These give us words, which are useful to get started. Maybe we do converse with God throughout our day, on the fly as things arise – this is good, it is more like the friendship God wants with us. Sometimes there are obstacles to prayer – our relating to God – being too busy, being in deep pain or anger, doubting God can help, or maybe the only time we talk with God is when we do need help.
God gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us to pray –to relate with God. Paul in Romans lets us know the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness and intercedes for us. When we do not know how to pray, feel lost, confused, or in great pain, we don’t need to say much or anything at all, but we do need to turn our heart to God and simply ask, “Help me”. Words may get us started, but that is not where we necessarily end up when the Holy Spirit leads our prayer – we can simply know God’s loving presence in silence, in tears, or in movements deep within us. Some of the saints’ prayers were described as childlike, just sitting in the presence of God, not saying anything.
I’ve got a large keyring on my belt, remnants from my days as a janitor. On the keyring, I have always been blessed to have a key to a church where I could drop in and pray anytime. I have also found there are many Eucharistic chapels open – you can find them as well, just to drop in and see Jesus. Next time you come to church, take a little extra time before or after mass and ask the Holy Spirit to help you enter more deeply into the love of the Lord – you are then praying with the Spirit. And whenever/where ever the Spirit moves you, stop what you are doing for a moment and know God is there with you!