Dear Fathers, Friends in Christ
You do not know how to pray as you ought ...
Oh, how true is that! We don't know how to pray as we should. When we're in the midst of the turmoil we don't know how to say what needs to be said. We can't gather our thoughts to deal with the crisis at hand. We don't have any idea what is best in the situation. We are lost, dazed and confused.
Sometimes this is true even when the action isn't a crisis--maybe it's good news. Someone we know is getting married. What do we pray for? What is the right thing to say to God about this?
The Holy Spirit within us identifies our needs and helps us present them to God. He knows what each situation requires and delights in our childlike attempts to deal with the issues--sometimes surprised by the depth of our understanding, often enchanted and charmed by our fumbling attempts.
Whatever may be the case, that Spirit within us calls out to God in the language of God--no, in fact, in the very being of God Himself--for the Holy Spirit, we must remind ourselves, is God dwelling within. He knows who we are, and what we are, and what we need. He hears our needs and translates them in His very being into God Himself. Our prayers become a part of God through the Holy Spirit. God hears and feels these prayers and responds to them in accordance with His will and in accordance to all the prayers prayed by all the people on Earth in such a way to bring about the best things for all people.
Father Ed Bakker
Anglican Catholic Church / Original Province
Mission of Saint Aidan of Lindisfarne