The last few days I have been feeling overwhelmed by the needs of the people around me and trying to figure out how I can help them. I have one friend who is in a specialty clinic for some health problems that have been plaguing her for months. I have another friend whose family just seems to continually be bombarded with major health issues and a new one has arisen. A third friend is struggling with some significant heart and mind issues. And then in staff meeting yesterday we had a long list of needs that we prayed over on behalf of our congregation. Sometimes it can get heavy when faced with so many issues,  and then to top it all off, sometimes you don’t even know how to help or to pray.

As I thought about all this today, I was reminded of this scripture, and I love the way The Message phrases it:

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. — Romans 8:26-28 (The Message)

Good news! If we don’t know how else to help, prayer always helps! And, we don’t have to know what to pray – the Spirit knows!

Not that this gets me “off the hook” for doing something else tangible for any of these people, but when there is nothing else I can do, I can always pray.

So that is what I intend to keep doing.

How about you? Does prayer play an important part in caring for those around you? How does that look for you?