And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. Romans 8:26-27
Several years ago, I listened to a series of messages by Otto Koning, a missionary to Papau New Guinea. The area is one of heavy spiritual oppression and when people would die who weren’t followers of Christ, it is was a terrible and frightening thing to watch. When a believer would die, even of some horrible injury, the passing would be completely different – peaceful as they crossed into Glory.
Otto tells of a time when he and his wife (and others in the ministry, if I remember correctly) were praying fervently for a man who they believed was to be a leader in the local church body. They prayed and prayed for this man, very specific prayers. I can’t remember exact details, but things happened and it turned out that this man was actually not a believer. And then he was killed and his death confirmed that he had not been a believer. And Otto questioned how they could have been so wrong – and what about all those prayers? But then God raised up another man in the community and it was like all of those prayers had been for that man. Otto quoted the above verse in Romans – and explained how the Holy Spirit is able to redirect our prayers if they are not according to the will of God! (How comforting is THAT!?)
Just over a year ago, we learned that a baby girl was due in September. She was to be our daughter’s half sister, born in another state. We begged and pleaded with God for that baby’s safety and that if it was His will, that she would come to our home to be raised with her sister. For four months, this baby’s safety weighed on us and we prayed and prayed and prayed.
Less than a week after that baby girl was born and placed in a foster home in that state, we received a text asking for if we would take placement of a 7 week old preemie – still 5 weeks from her due date. It was only going to be for a couple of weeks, because she was going to a relative. They technically shouldn’t have asked us, because they were supposed to wait a full 6 months after our adoption was finalized – but it was exactly 3 months to the day.
It has been almost a year now. Our daughter’s half sister is about to be adopted by her foster family in another state. God kept her safe and we praise Him for that! But He didn’t bring her into our home.
In reading through what we know about our soon-to-be adopted baby daughter’s history (yes, that “couple of weeks” placement is actually going to get to be FOREVER!), she came extremely close to being aborted and was born addicted to multiple substances.
This makes me ponder a bit… God knew His plan for this precious one long before I knew she existed. Was the Holy Spirit interceding on this baby’s behalf, using the prayers I was praying for another child? Kind of interesting thought, isn’t it?