St. Paul’s advice on prayer in this passage clears away the clutter of method, mellows our striving to do it right and takes away the stress. We can’t really pray as we ought. So what are we to do? Let the Holy Spirit in us pray in our place. I have often prayed quietly with the sense that the heart of God was beating within me. I simply listened. Waited. Reverenced the beating of this love greater than any other. Where I could not pray, God himself had come to take up residence within me and to pray. The Spirit kept watch over me, replacing my weakness with the strength of his love. The Spirit’s intercession for me matched the desires that sprang from God’s own heart and so were immediately answered, though they remained a secret from me. Too often perhaps we get in our own way when we pray. Maybe we need to stop trying so hard and allow God to pray within us according to the desires of his heart.

Sr. Kathryn J. Hermes, F.S.P.

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