"In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26
I don't know how to pray or what to pray for. I look at my loved one who has suffered so much this winter and I'm speechless. Is it right to pray for healing when living means only to exist in the memories of what has passed? Is it right to ask God to bring new life into one that has already lived a good many years? We were created to live forever, I'll agree, but not forever in a broken, earthly body, on this planet in this present time.
So, when I sit to pray for this sickly loved one, I seldom find the words. On occasion when I do find words, I struggle with the guilt of asking for their graceful departure from this world. To sit and watch someone you love gasp for air, sleep their days away or claim no recollection of the conversation they were having with you just a moment ago makes me realize the cruelty of life.
Finally, I confided with a wise and godly woman, known for her gift of intercessory prayer and healing, about my struggle with prayer. While she agrees that God is in the business of healing, the will of the suffering person must align with the will to live in order for healing to come. If they no longer wish to live, then our prayers for healing are for naught. Instead, pray for God to ease their suffering quickly. It is no use to pray for healing if someone doesn't desire restoration or a prolonged life. There does come a time in all our lives when we will tire of living.
It's still not easy to pray for the suffering or to watch the suffering. But now, when I do pray, I pray for God's grace to ease the pain, to shorten the suffering; wisdom for the living and strength to those who will remain.
"I urge you brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me." Romans 15:30
"And I pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for the Lord's people." Ephesians 6:18