For whom do you pray? For what do you pray? How long are your prayers? Do you pray every day? Someone once said that Christians should be the healthiest people on earth because they pray over their food more than they pray for anything else.

Prayer is simple at times, but at other times it is hard even to summon the strength to approach the throne of God with our requests and thanksgivings. Many people in Scripture pray when they are at their weakest. Daniel prays after he is ordered not to pray (Daniel 6:10). Jonah prays when he is in the belly of the great fish (Jonah 2:2-9). Elijah wants to die when he prays for God to save him from Jezebel (1 Kings 19:4). Even Jesus prays in the garden before His arrest, trial, and crucifixion (John 15–17). Those men know what they need, and they implore God to help them. But do you ever find yourself not even knowing what the problem is?

That’s where the Holy Spirit steps in. In Romans 8, Paul states that the Holy Spirit blesses us in many ways: He dwells in us (vs. 9); He bears witness that we are children of God (vs. 16), and He helps us in our weakness when we don’t know what to pray with groanings too deep for words (vs. 26). It would be impossible for mortal man to give a perfect explanation of how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us in those prayers…but I am glad He does. I don’t need a perfect explanation. I don’t need to know what those groanings are like. I just know that one of the members of the perfect Godhead is coming to my assistance when I need Him the most.

Don’t overthink your prayers. Don’t resort to meaningless repetition or grandstanding. Confess your ignorance. Express your praise. Detail your requests. Beg for forgiveness. Simply take your life to God and allow Him to change it. The Holy Spirit will help.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

Today, I will…pray like I have never prayed before, with an assurance that the Holy Spirit will assist me according to the will of God.