Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Needing an Advocate

“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 through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27 NIV)

We recently had new Internet service installed at our office.  When I returned from Fall Break, I found out I was unable to send e-mail from the Entourage program on my computer.  For a time, I searched the web for solutions, but none of them worked.  I then e-mailed the company (who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) and received no response.  I finally called the tech support number and the automated voice gave me a website to access for help.  It didn’t.  I called again, rudely interrupting my automated helper by saying “tech support!”  The first tech person I reached told me he was not familiar with the email program I use and that the company doesn’t offer support on “third party platforms,” so I asked to be transferred to someone with greater knowledge.  I was told that privilege would cost me $99.  I hung up and called again, hoping to find someone more willing to help me, who recognized the unfairness of a company installing a service and then telling you, basically, good luck on solving that problem, because we won’t help you.  Again I was told the company doesn’t offer free support on anything involving “outside software.”  Frustrated, and still frugal, I hung up again.

I then asked my tech-savvy associate if we would take a look at the problem.  He agreed, but couldn’t resolve it either.  So he, too, called the company.  As I sat listening to his side of the conversation, he began describing the problem and all he had done to try to fix it and, literally, within a couple of minutes, she had given him the information needed to solve the issue, at no charge.  I sat dumbfounded and asked how he managed to do that, and he said he had previously worked for the company and just knew how to talk to their reps in a way to get things done.  He was a very effective advocate as a result.

Paul describes the Holy Spirit in a similar manner.  When we’ve reached the end of our own efforts to pray, when we are at a loss for words, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us.  He knows what to say because He is familiar with the Father and His will.  

Thankfully, our Heavenly Father is not anything like the Internet company with which I was dealing.  He is more than happy to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16).  But there are times when we just don’t know what to say or how to ask.  Such as when a devastating tragedy envelops our lives or when we reach a fork in the road and the choices are similar.  We just can’t find the words to describe our feelings or what to ask to get an answer to our question.  

It is then that the Holy Spirit does His best work.  He goes before the Lord on our behalf to express what we really need.  Words may fail us, but He will always know what to ask.

Today, if you are at a point where in your prayers you don’t know what to say, know that you have an Advocate who will pray for you, who will go before the Father on your behalf.  Do your best on your knees, but if you are still unable to get an answer, trust the Holy Spirit to help you.  He is very familiar with the Father and knows just what to say.

© Jim Musser 2012

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