"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know for what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)
There are times when we are weak and don't know what we ought to pray. The Holy Spirit knows exactly what to pray for because He is not weak. There are times when we are blind and confused to our inner needs, but our Guest is not because our heart is an open book to Him. He searches hearts, not to condemn, but to pray and intercede.
You may think, if only I could pray like the Holy Spirit, what wise words He must use, what great theological truths He must express. Not great truths, but deep groans that words cannot express. Sounds of groaning, coming from suffering like a woman bearing a child. Picture the Holy Spirit groaning in prayer on your behalf before God, and you will have the perfect picture of fasting and prayer.
Prayer must go beyond eloquent preachifying. There is no eloquence in groaning. It’s not comfortable to enter into a suffering soul. But you have something the other person needs--clarity, where for him, there is only confusion. Strength and faith--where for him, there is only weakness and doubt.
Have you ever watched a sister or brother flounder in the faith? It’s so easy for us to judge. Yet what we should be doing is falling on our faces, growning with tears for a soul that is walking down the path to destruction.
As your interceding becomes deeper, God will begin to allow you to enter into that man's heart. You will sense his pain, confusion and suffering. You allow it to become your pain, your suffering, your confusion, wrestle through it for him before the presence of God, so he may be free. You are investing part of yourself in his situation. If he triumphs, you triumph, if he fails, you fail. His suffering is no longer held out at arm's length, it becomes personal. Our groans mingle with the groans of the Spirit. We become one with the sufferings of Christ.
The whole body works in fighting and healing infection. For the body of Christ to function the way God intended, we must all work together to bring healing and wholeness to even the least important parts. If infection runs unchecked, it will kill the rest of the body.
You cannot carry self into the deep realms of fasting and prayer. It must be laid aside like old baggage, freeing you to go to the cross for another soul's need, a great blessing because you are letting go of all that hinders from entering into God's heavenly places. You will mount up on the wings of an eagle, soaring with another man's soul into the very throne room of God. Becoming endued with power, shaking the foundation of the heavenlies, you will move the Sovereign hand of God. Unshackled, unhindered by any selfish motivations.
Therefore praying has a double blessing; it touches a suffering heart and realigns the intercessor's heart before God.
Where Two or Three Are Gathered In Fasting and Prayer
There is a momentum that builds when a group of people pulls together as one. This is how riots and revolutions begin, like a wave in the sea that begins small, then builds until it becomes a tremendous force. Political leaders have nightmares about such a power. Satan shudders at the thought.
The Pharisees were terrified of Jesus because they knew the potential of such a leader. When people are mobilized by a single cause, the momentum is enough to plow down anything that stands in its way. God desires His church to be a mighty force against the kingdom of darkness. Satan, on the other hand, has done all he can to defuse that force through division and strife. What kind of power can a group wield when people come together to fast and pray for a common goal?
At church functions we have coffee and dainties before the main meal, which is laid pleasingly on a platter of indulgence. After eating to capacity, dessert, I really shouldn’t. Sitting back in the chair with a look of complete satisfaction, the guest speaker leads everyone in a song in which we are barely able to gasp for air. Afterwards, a well-prepared message that cannot penetrate the sleepy fog that accompanies a full stomach.
Oh how the Holy Spirit must delight in the opportunity of moving, when Christians come together. Just think of it, all those gifts and talents in one room at the same time. The place ought to be shaking with the presence of God. Yet, the tragedy is that, in most cases, the focus is more on satisfying stomachs.
When we fast and pray together, each one of our gifts become unified in a common focus. What power, authority and clarity of sight we can have under such conditions. Prophets, teachers, evangelists, the gifts of healing, working together. Nothing would stand in the way.
Related Article: Fasting And Intercession