Years ago while speaking at a conference, I jokingly told an audience, “I’m smarter than I look.” From the back of the auditorium, I heard a retort, “You’d have to be.” (I trust that they too were joking.) Sadly, contrary to what I said in the conference, for more times than not I am not smarter than I look. There are so many areas in life that I honestly am clueless. And, before you start looking for an institution to house me, if you are honest, you will make the same declaration about yourself. We all are so limited in our understanding in so many areas of life.
It is so, so evident that the apostle Paul knew me some 2,000 years ago. Somehow, he must have been able to see that I am not smarter than I look. In Romans 8, he tells about one of my major limitations, my cluelessness in the arena of prayer. When it comes to communicating to the Father about circumstances and needs, I often have a limited understanding of what is actually going on. There are times when I will just have an unction to pray for someone and not have any details about why I feel that urgency to pray and intercede. At other times, I can have someone to request me to pray about a person or situation and I might be given incorrect information and/or slanted and biased opinions about the request.
Thankfully, Paul provided the answer to this cluelessness. Once again, we discover that the Holy Spirit has been assigned to help us. When we don’t know how to pray as we ought (which can be a major portion of the time), we are to pray in our heavenly language thus allowing the Holy Spirit to pray through us. Praying in and through the Spirit allows us to have a brain bypass. Praying in the Spirit bypasses our limited understanding and possible incorrect information by totally keeping our mind out of the process. In praying in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit connects with our spirit and allows us to pray mysteries (Romans 8:26; 1 Corinthians 14:14) and the perfect will of God concerning that person or situation.
One more time, I come back to the gut-level honesty and admit again that for more times than not I am not smarter than I look. You might want to make the same confession and then join me in declaring our dependency on the Holy Spirit. If we are going to be able to address our weakness and inadequacy (KJV “infirmity”) in the area of prayer, we must become more and more dependent upon the Holy Spirit praying through us. Together, let’s acknowledge that since He knows the whole scenario and all of the details about what is needed in our times of intercession we will become more dependent upon praying in the Spirit so that He can make effectual intercession through us. A healthy dose of brain-bypassing prayer just might be what heaven ordered for us to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God!