Scripture is full of beautiful promises for parents, but one passage in particular holds a promise that's easy to overlook. But if we're missing this one, we're forgetting a major blessing from God.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Parents, the Holy Spirit is standing as an advocate for you before God. He's praying for you and interceding for you and pleading for you according to the very will of God. And he's praying specifically for your next step, even if you don't have a clue what that is.
A Prayer for the Broken
I love the honesty of this promise - even as it starts: "The Spirit helps us in our weakness." Romans 8:26 isn't aimed towards the faithful or the bold or the courageous or the righteous Christian - it's aimed toward the weak. This is a promise for the parent at the end of her rope, overwhelmed and exhausted, beaten down and confused.
This is a promise for the parent who's been broken.
You've been there, right? It's that moment when you throw up your hands and say, "I know I should pray, but I don't even know what to say!" This verse promises that in those moments, God is gently reassuring, "Don't worry. Don't fear. Just rest in me. The Holy Spirit, who knows you perfectly, is already praying. You don't have ways to express your brokenness, or wisdom to direct your next steps. But I have both, and I'm praying for you."
Led By Prayer
The incredible promise tucked in here is that no matter the situation, you are bathed in personal, real prayer that perfectly aligns with God the Father's will for you and for your life. Think about that! Every parenting situation you walk into has already been prayed for. The Holy Spirit leads us in our parenting by prayer.
Mom - Dad - you might be walking through a situation right now in your family in which you have no clue how take the next step. You feel paralyzed by confusion or fear or anger and the question, "What does God want me to do?" only complicates the matter! You don't know what you CAN do, much less what God might want you to do.
Take heart. The Holy Spirit, in this moment, is standing before God, praying for you and interceding for you personally. His prayers are in perfect step with God's will. He knows exactly where you are. The Holy Spirit knows your best next step, even if you can't picture a single step, and He is asking God to lead you the right way. His prayers are perfect, and his prayers are leading you.
This promise ultimately doesn't just give us hope - it gives confidence. Walk boldly. Pray confidently. You will never walk into a parenting situation that hasn't already been prayed for by the Holy Spirit.