Divine Designed Life Podcast

How to Pray in Weakness – Episode #662

How to Pray in Weakness

How to Pray in Weakness
Episode #662
8/11/2019

With Martha Kilpatrick and hosted by John Enslow
Special Guest: Jennifer Wentzel

This is the continuation of a series of podcasts started in Episode #659.
Paul boasted of weakness, and then talked about how we don’t really even know how to pray. Is there a connection between weakness and effective prayer?

Jennifer:
So God does not view weakness, such as we define it, as we do. In fact, for Him I would bet it’s almost the opposite, of, “Look at this little sheep shine. Look how there’s nothing obscuring the power of My Son, the love of My Son, the life of My Son.” This is, this is heaven rejoicing, perhaps, at a light that is shining so brightly and without obstacle out into darkness; His Son having His feet on the ground unobstructed. That, Martha, that is I think… I am, I am begging Him, because humanly I look at it the same way you do, John. I say, “Oh, God, please not that! Please not that.” Because I still, I still view it so short term.

Martha:
As you would say, Jennifer, upside down.

Jennifer:
Yes, upside down! Not as heaven sees it, right? I mean, think about the, the examples that Jesus gave. Correct this if I’m wrong but wasn’t it in Matthew 18 where He went through the whole thing about the little child? And…

Martha:
Yes.

Jennifer:
Right? And He literally said, “If your hand is going to harm them, cut off your hand.” It doesn’t get more extreme in that. What He’s saying is like maybe if you have a tendency and a temper tantrum to slap your kid, punch your kid, whatever, He’s saying chop it off so you can’t do it.

Martha:
Wow!

Jennifer:
It’s that extreme.

Martha:
Yes.

Jennifer:
It’s that extreme. In other words, to Jesus… You know, I always looked at that and said maybe it’s more figurative. Maybe, maybe not! Maybe what He was saying was, “Better to go through life maimed. Better to go through life crippled physically…

Martha:
Yes!

Jennifer:
…than to have your soul blackened by something for all eternity on this level.”

Martha:
The abuse of a child.

Jennifer:
The abuse of our innocence.

Martha:
Um hmm.

Jennifer:
Right? On the abuse of, of not innocence as, you know, born again. I’m not talking about that but there is a place in childhood, you know, where there is not what we later grow into. And when He said a little child I believe He was referring to that, that subset of years.

But that is extreme. That is extreme by, by my human terms, by my flesh. My flesh says, “Cut off my hand?! Better to have cut off my hand?! Better to have cut off my foot?! Better to have ripped out my tongue?!” I mean, if you’re talking about it, better to, to rid your body of these things that are leading you down, that are the, the means for infliction.

So this is, this is a mindset that I, I want desperately because I want the eternal view that this is a training ground for eternity; that this is not, this is all I know so I am, I am— It is, it is a prayer that I have that the Holy Spirit would bring me to a place where it is not the fight to leave this way of thinking to come to His. I don’t want my way of thinking. It’s so boring, okay? It’s so limited. I want the way of thinking where Paul is talking about not just bragging but bragging about things that are defined by his opponent and putting them in those terms. Not saying, “This is the reality of it.” Saying, “As my opponent sees me.”

Martha:
Um hmm.

Jennifer:
The things that my opponent finds weak, that my opponent finds infirm. Not that God does. Not that actually IS. So in other words, He’s saying, “I’ll brag in these things that you think are so terrible and sad and pathetic or whatever.” Right? To me that’s basically, that, I, I think that’s kind of Paul, Paul’s Elijah moment. Where Elijah’s like, “Hey, is your god asleep? Go wake him up! Wakey, wakey, big guy!” You know. “Come on! Oh, what’s the matter?” I mean, Elijah, I can see him just like dancing around, like throwing out his arms like, “Come on bros, what’s the problem?” That level of, you know, my God is so much… “You guys are pathetic, you guys are pitiful…

Martha:
“Is that all you’ve got?!”

Jennifer:
…you’re hilarious!” You know? He basically did a twenty-minute stand up set right there with, you know, the priests of Baal. But I wonder if this wasn’t Paul’s shout-out in the same way, you know? In other words, “You little men! You men without eyes to see. You, you define things so poorly, so sadly. What you call infirm, I glory and I boast in because I have seen beyond.” Right?

Martha:
And, you know, it’s, I’ve said it takes the greatest courage of your life to find out, come to realize, and have your eyes opened to see your own weakness. It requires, then you are required to need God. That’s your only hope. You don’t have but one, one solution to that and that is God. So, it takes you to Him and… But it takes the greatest courage to go through that however He brings it. And He will bring it to every person in a different way.

But then the other thing is Paul said in 1 Corinthians, and I marveled over it for years, “I didn’t come to you speaking to you in power and eloquence. I came to you speaking in fear and trembling.” And that is the dependence on God. That is not a lack of faith. That’s dependence on God because you don’t have a plan B. You don’t have a backup. You don’t have anything you can… If God doesn’t show, it’s over and you are really done and trashed and gone and… But He always comes. He comes to weakness. That’s where… He flies to weakness. He is there before you’re even, can even speak to weakness.

And, but Paul settled down to live in that level of weakness. This magnificent scholar, religious man who kept the law and was highly educated – he didn’t use any of that. He settled down in the reality that he couldn’t even speak to a few people in Corinth; that he was there in weakness and trembling.

The other thing is I’m in… I’m astonished as I’m going through the scriptures looking, just looking up topically weakness, dependence, nothingness, there are so many things the Bible has to tell us about weakness that we don’t really register as a whole. We might have a piece here. “Okay, well I’m weak here.” But he even says about prayer that you don’t know how to pray. We don’t know what to pray. We go to pray with an agenda, with our human flesh opinion, opinion about what should be prayed. But he says, “We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Holy Spirit comes in our weakness and with groanings and petitions He prays.” So, the prayer is, the real prayer is “Come, Holy Spirit,” then I’ll pray.

Jennifer:
Now see, that’s interesting because right there Paul defines weakness by what God views as weakness, which is our inability to pray.

Martha:
Right.

Jennifer:
So THAT he views as a weakness, because God does.

Martha:
Um hmm.

Jennifer:
We can’t pray. We don’t even know how to pray.

Martha:
And see, I have to sit and wait and pray and pray before I can write. And I was affirmed in that, encouraged in that by 1 Corinthians 1 where Paul said, “We do not speak to you with words of wisdom” but the Holy Spirit has to give the words to convey the truths.

So, we’re… Even though the things that we do… John does that. I’ve watched him do it many times. He sits and waits. He prays. And when the words come from the Spirit, then he writes. Not to say that it’s flawless or any of those things. But it’s just to say that we are dependent on Him for every work He’s assigned us to do. And at, at this time in my life I really don’t move until the Spirit moves because I can’t and I don’t want to.

So that whatever sniveling little suffering you go through to gain a ground where Christ is your very life and you, and God supplies everything you need and more, ten times, a hundred times more—that’s worth dying for. And that’s what you do in that wilderness; you die. You die to having any strength, any wisdom, any knowledge, anything. And it’s very bewildering, it’s very puzzling, it’s very, feels very dark. But it is completely ordered by God in every single moment. What He orchestrates to bring through that dependence on Him is so brilliant, our, we, our minds couldn’t even begin to comprehend. But once it’s done and you look at it you see the absolute order of God: the protection, the kindness, the loving kindness. That’s, that two-word phrase has a new meaning to me. His kindness is loving. His loving is kind. And it, it gives Him no pleasure for us to suffer but He, He knows it is absolutely necessary to come to the place where we can be a vessel that can any, in anyway serve Him.

One little thing I wanted to throw in it. Jennifer gave me at this, some point, we’ve had it in the office and I didn’t, hadn’t read it. It’s a little tiny booklet by Watchman Nee called Praising. It says some of the most incredible things. It says, “Sometimes prayer doesn’t work and only praising does.” Talks about what, how the enemy… That would be a great little instrument if you were going through a wilderness. You can praise! And he defines what praise is and he, he defines the power of praise and how the enemy cannot bear it and runs from you. And it was… That little booklet was probably a turning point in my recovery, I’ll say.

So, all of that is the background for the next little booklet that’s coming out. So you will know that this one truly is nothing who’s writing this booklet, has lived it and loves it. So hopefully we’ll, we’ll get the unction to pull it on through in a week. We’ll see!

“We do not know how to pray as we ought but the Holy Spirit comes in our weakness and with groanings and petitions He prays.” Paul boasted of weakness, and then said that we don’t know how to pray. Is there a connection between weakness and effective prayer?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *