In From the Vine

By: Caralyn

 

 

I don’t know about you, but I often chuckle when I think about how naive I was at the beginning of “all this.” Back at the beginning of March, I believed that the world would be back to “normal” by the end of April—tops. Oh, sweetie, how wrong you were. 

It’s now the middle of summer, and New York City, where I live, is still largely out of commission. From the coronavirus to the protesting and riots, and now back to the coronavirus – we’ve reached a new level of dire. The state of the world right now – politically, socially, economically, health-wise – things are severe. Things are extreme. Things are — *cue the eye roll* — unprecedented.

And I’m going to be honest with you —sitting here as a Christian, with the world crumbling around us, it’s often hard to know how to respond. 

The country feels like a tinderbox, with people so impassioned, and fiercely opinionated. Especially on social media, neighbors can seem more like hostile forces to be reckoned with, than your fence-sharing teammate that waters your plants while you’re on vacation.  But there’s just so much hurting out there right now, and so many opinions and biased information and reporting, that even just getting the straight story is a task unto itself. 

So much so, that, frankly, it makes praying seem like an insurmountable task. Maybe you can relate. But there’s just so many things that need God’s healing, and help, and protection and love, and peace – that I don’t even know where to begin!  It’s like trying to wrap my arms around a hippopotamus coated in motor oil, wiggling around, doing the Macarena. 

There’s so much that needs prayer, where do I start? Is it selfish to pray for personal things, when the world is falling apart around me? What if I forget about XYZ? Will God think my intercessions are too trivial when there’s the coronavirus, civil unrest, unemployed loved ones, and leaders that need our prayer? 

Honestly, this approach-avoidance has hurt my prayer life. Maybe it’s my “all-or-nothing” mindset, but I find that unless my prayer is going to address all the world’s problems, my loved ones’ problems, and my own personal problems, it’s a failure of divine proportions. That’s where the second reading comes in to save the day. 

“The Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness;
for we do not know how to pray as we ought,
but the Spirit himself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.” ~Romans 8:26-27

What a comfort to know that I don’t have to know where to begin; I don’t have to know how to pray. When I’m overwhelmed by the breadth and gravity of the issues at hand that need prayer, the Spirit “reads” my heart and intercedes for me. I mean, if that doesn’t just completely take the weight of the world off your shoulders, I don’t know what will. 

Reflecting on this, I think it’s an important perspective to remember that God doesn’t expect perfection from our prayer life. So we can just let that go right off the bat. God doesn’t want polished or pristine. He doesn’t want picture-perfect prose and punctuation and platitudes. He simply wants our hearts.

The raw, authentic heart that sure might not know where to start when interceding for this crumbling world, its hurting people, and lost unity and morality. The important thing is to begin. Take that first baby step; even in just preparing to pray, the Holy Spirit will come in and pray with us and for us. 

There is power in prayer. And there is nothing the world needs more right now than a praying people. Prayers for peace. Prayers for health and safety. Prayers for equality and justice. Prayers for the lonely and broken-hearted. Prayers for the oppressed and persecuted. Prayers for love to drive out hate. 

Holy Spirit, come and fill in the gaps for all the things I’ve missed or overlooked. Thank you for being my Intercessor when I’ve lost my prayer voice.

 

About the author:

Caralyn  is the writer and speaker behind the blog, BeautyBeyondBones. She’s an actress and writer in New York City. Having battled a severe case of anorexia and Ulcerative Colitis, she now uses her story of total restoration to offer Christ’s hope and encouragement for those with eating disorders, and other forms of adversity. Her book, Bloom is now available!

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Showing 43 comments
  • Chris Johnson
    Reply

    Carolyn, your comments this morning are absolutely amazing! As a fellow prayer Warrior, today’s reading about the inexpressible groanings of the Holy Spirit are such balm to my mind, heart and soul. Thank you for these wonderful reminders… Blessings, Chris

    • Reply

      Hi Chris, oh wow, thank you so much for your wonderfully kind words! I’m so glad this resonated with you this morning 🙂 Hope you have a beautiful week. Blessings.

  • Lucy
    Reply

    You have expressed exactly what is in my heart. I, too, found that second reading and the same passage very powerful. Thanks

    • Reply

      Thank you Lucy! I’m so glad this hit home with you! isn’t it just a beautiful passage?? Have a lovely week! Hugs and love xox

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    Forwarding this to my daughter and a friend, Carolyn. I, too, have had the same sentiments – like I have to pray for EVERYTHING. So the “task” of prayer can seem like hard work. I’ll let the Spirit help, instead! Thank you!

    • Reply

      Hi Cheryl! Thank you for passing this along to your daughter! i’m so glad this resonated with you. You’re right – how blessed are we to have the Holy Spirit’s guidance! Hugs and love xox

  • Kathie Bomsta
    Reply

    What a wonderful reminder of how the Holy Spirit is with us! Thank you. And let us not forget our guardian angels.

    God bless you
    Kathie Bomsta

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Kathie! You’re so right! He always is! What a beautiful truth! Hugs and love xox

      • Michael Olivier
        Reply

        I always remember the quote by I forget who, “The power of prayer does not lie in my stumbling words and my inadequacy but in the One who hears my prayer.” (Very paraphrased)
        Thank you for your encouragement Caralyn.

  • Scott Walters
    Reply

    A beautiful article and right on point. I have days were I stumble through my prayers and the Spirit intercedes. In today’s world we need all the prayers we can get. The only way to defeat fear is through faith. Stay safe.

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Scott! I love that so much: only through faith can we defeat fear! Truth!! Hugs and love xox

  • Sandman
    Reply

    Earlier this year–maybe even late last year–I felt strangely separated from God. What to do? I started praying, figuring that through prayer, I would feel God’s presence again. I did. What a beautiful post! Pray and the Holy Spirit will come. May God Bless you always!

    • Reply

      Thank you for sharing your heart, Sandman. Amen – I’m so glad you’ve felt His presence through prayer! Hugs and love xox

  • Peach
    Reply

    How did you know?! Echoes of my heart, with a Godly clarity and resolution!!

    Thank you so much!

  • Sharon
    Reply

    I’ve shared on my Facebook because you dear friend have been one of my only real supporters on my personal blog for quite awhile.. Miracle girl I call you.. This post is wonderful thank you.. I love what you wrote too last time you were there.. Thank you for sharing your faith, your realness and your heart with the world.. We really need you..

    • Reply

      Hi Sharon, oh gosh, thank you so much for passing this along! I am so touched and humbled by your kind words! Have a beautiful week, my friend! Hugs and love xox

  • Tonya LaLonde
    Reply

    So beautifully said, all so true. God hears our heart and prayers and loves us. He is still in charge and is the only One that knows the whole story and our individual stories and what is needed. So true. We must pray. It is the most profound and powerful thing we can do. Love you, as always! Hugs! XO❤

    • Reply

      Hi my dear friend!!! thanks for popping over here and checking out my article! Amen to that — He knows our hearts, our stories, what we need, what we desire. we are so incredibly blessed to have such an incredible Father!! Yes it is! i hope you have a beautiful week, and thank you again for passing this along!! big hugs to you xox

  • Suzette
    Reply

    Powerful word, thank you

  • Aileen
    Reply

    Much needed words. Sometimes I find difficulty in praying during this time because of so much going on. But doesn’t mean to stop praying, right?

    • Reply

      Thanks so much Aileen for sharing your heart! You’re so right – those are always the times when prayer is most needed! big hugs to you xo

  • Amy Schisler
    Reply

    Beautiful, Caralyn! Thank you for the reminder that the Holy Spirit is there to coax us in word, action, and prayer!

    • Reply

      Hi Amy! Thanks so much for popping over here to read my article! You’re so right – how blessed are we to have the Holy Spirit as our intercessor and guide!! We are so loved! have a beautiful day my friend!Hugs and love xox

  • Meghan
    Reply

    Beautiful! Thank you Lord for the Holy Spirit, who helps us when we can’t find the words. Lovely post Caralyn. Blessings to you.

    • Reply

      Hi Meghan! thank you so much!! amen to that – we are so incredibly blessed to have the Holy Spirit in our corner!! Hope oyu have a great week! Hugs and love xox

  • Ted Okon
    Reply

    Prayer more important than ever, Caralyn. Keep it up. Ted

  • Ted M Gossard
    Reply

    Well said, Caralyn. Yes, exactly the passage I was thinking of in Romans at the beginning of this post. Amen and amen. Thanks. Encouraging and good.

  • C L Couch
    Reply

    Unfinished, sloppily worded, feeling selfish and unselfish, nothing fancy, extremely unofficial. We might be messy about praying, but the Spirit will listen and respond. We shouldn’t doubt then, as you say, that there’s power in prayer. I’m happy you affirm this. Please be well.

    • Reply

      You’re so right about that CL! The Holy Spirit will interceded for us! How blessed are we! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  • Katie
    Reply

    Thank you for this very important reminder! ANY prayer is better than none! I just can’t get over how mean spirited people are today. Makes me sad.

    • Reply

      Thank you so much Katie! I absolutely agree. All prayer is good prayer — and so needed right now! Hugs and love xox

  • BETH
    Reply

    “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Psa. 57:1 KJV).

    Every day another temptation comes our way. Some are harder than others, but still we know that God is our refuge. Under the Old Testament Law, there were cities of refuge for the innocent who were falsely accused of murder. Nowadays, those cities are not there for us, but there are other comforts.

    “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them” (Deut. 33:27 KJV).

    “That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: 19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; 20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 6:18-20 KJV).

    • Reply

      Hi Beth, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this. What powerful passages! I love Psalm 57 – it’s so comforting! Hugs and love xox

  • John Feeney
    Reply

    Caralyn::

    Thank you for this beautiful and insightful article. Especially with the quotation from Romans. We need to learn to rely on God like a child trusts and relies on his or her parents (Mt 18:3). The peace of Christ to you.

    • Reply

      thank you so much John! I appreciate your kind words! You’re so right – that child-like trust and faith! peace to you as well my friend! Hugs and love xox

  • Michael Muller
    Reply

    You have an amazing inspirational vibe that touches many, including me! We DO need to pray and be patient through all this. The problem is so many don’t and are not. Love and hugs!!

    • Reply

      thank you so much Michael!! 🙂 Great to see you over here! hehe mane to that – prayer is so so needed right now. and yes, of course, patience! hope you have a wonderful week! Hugs and love xox

  • KJ Smith
    Reply

    Wonderful and much needed post! I often think that God must chuckle a bit when He hears me pray. My prayers can be so scattered and jumbled – I begin praying about one thing and mid-thought, switch to something totally different. I’m grateful He’s God and already knows my cares and needs! And I’m very grateful that the Holy Spirit intercedes – and interprets – for me!

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