“This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.”
1 Corinthians 2:13
Corrie ten Boom survived the Nazi concentration camps and went on to travel the world to share Christ with millions. A series of strokes severely incapacitated her, after which she retreated to the sanctuary of her small home in southern California. But Corrie’s ministry did not stop. Her house became a sanctuary of prayer.
Shortly before Jesus took her home, I went to visit her. I wheeled into Tante Corrie’s house—the air was fragrant with the aroma of European coffee. A clock ticked and a kettle whistled. I sat in her parlor, enjoying old photographs of the ten Boom family while I waited for Pam, her helper, to wheel Corrie out of her bedroom. When she arrived, we talked—actually, I did most of the talking, since the strokes limited her speech. I also sang to her several favorite hymns. What a grand visit!
Before I left, Corrie grasped her paralyzed hand with her good hand and then with great effort entwined her fingers. Pam, understanding this gesture, kneeled by Corrie’s wheelchair and looked up into that determined face. “Tante Corrie, may we pray with you, too?” We bowed our heads and Corrie began. Her words were indistinct—half Dutch, half English, and a lot of gibberish—but her voice was strong as she prayed earnestly in the Spirit. The Spirit was in fact the only one who could understand her.
Sometimes it’s hard to pray. We can’t find the words. When we do, they don’t seem to make sense. Take heart: Romans 8:26-27 says, “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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” When you pray in the Spirit, God always hears, understands, and is moved mightily.
Move in my heart, Spirit, and help me to pray in heartfelt honesty.