In prayer, we can express to God anything and everything we are thinking and feeling. He welcomes this, and wants it! There is room, also, for questions in prayer: for us to ask God for His point of view, His perspective. If prayer is to be a dialogue, then there must be space for both talking and listening, for both asking and responding.
Romans 8:26-27 teaches us that
“the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
When we open our mouths to pray to Father God, there is Another who joins us in the act: a Helper, none other than the Holy Spirit of God, Himself! He “intercedes for us,” speaking to Father God on our behalf while we pray, praying for us “in accordance with God’s will.” This is such incredibly good news! Because above all else, it is God’s will, God’s thoughts, God’s heart for the person or situation that I truly want.
As I pour out my long monologue of thoughts and feelings to God – as I describe for Him what I am seeing, hearing, thinking, feeling – how I am experiencing my life, how I perceive all of the ups and downs, highs and lows, the difficulties, hardships, needs, and decisions before me – what I most want in all the world is for God’s will to be done in and through me. And according to Romans 8:27, this is exactly what the Spirit is praying for me while I am praying to the Father!
It is in this spirit that I would like to offer you three questions to take to God in your prayers. Three questions to ask the Spirit to be praying on your behalf while you pray. Three questions which, if you will ask them of God regularly, and allow Him time to respond, will produce spiritual growth in your life.
The first question is this: “Father, what do You think about… (fill in the blank)? How do You feel about… (so-&-so)?” See, I am very good at telling God what I think and how I feel about the people, problems, circumstances, and needs in my life! But… I am not as good at asking Him what He thinks and feels about those same things…
Sometimes a problem seems overwhelming. A relationship seems beyond repair. We cannot discern the best choice for the decision before us. A person has hurt us, and we are angry. A circumstance has left us confused, lost, unsettled, or frustrated. We have a need so big and so bewildering, we cannot see our way around it…
We know how we feel about all these things, what we are thinking about them… And so does God (Psalm 139:1-4; Matthew 6:8). And being the very kind, warm, and loving Father that He is, He welcomes our words – He wants us to share our thoughts and feelings with Him. Yes, He knows already – but He loves us so much, and He wants to hear our thoughts and feelings from us.
But far too rarely do I ever ask Him for His opinion on the matter:
- “Father, how do You feel about this person who has upset me?”
- “What do You think about the decision before me?”
- “How does this present circumstance in my life make You feel?”
- “What are your thoughts about the need I have? About the problem I am facing?”
Tell Him how you feel; pour out your heart to Him! Tell Him what you are thinking; unload all your anxious thoughts (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:7). But before you say “Amen,” before you leave the quiet space of prayer, ask Him. Ask God what He thinks – how He feels – about your issue, need, circumstance, or relationship. Ask Him – and then wait… with a notebook opened to a clean page… with pen uncapped and poised to write…
Invite Father God to speak His thoughts and feelings into your situation… and experience the intercession of the Spirit on your behalf – pouring out His own prayers for you, which are in accordance with the perfect will of Father God.
Three Questions for Spiritual Growth:
- Question 1 – “Father, what do You think or feel about this?”
- Question 2 – What would a better ______ be doing?
- Question 3 – What would you counsel your best friend to do?