I Don’t Know What to Pray

It seems that at times when I need prayer the most, I don’t even know what to say. I’m not sure if everyone feels this way or if it is just part of my personality makeup.

If you know me well at all, we have probably had at least one conversation about Myers Briggs personality types. The MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Inventory) fascinates me on so many levels, so much so that I became an MBTI consultant. One of the most useful aspects of knowing your loved one’s type is knowing how that type reacts under severe stress. In one of my certification classes it was described this way: Your dominant personality function is driving your car, but when you are “in the grip” and nothing seems to be working, the complete opposite personality function takes over. It is as if the baby riding in a carseat in the back of your car leaps out, pushes you out of the way, and takes the wheel. Since you don’t normally use this function of your personality, you don’t use it very well. I’m sure you have witnessed a quiet, kind individual suddenly lash out in anger and then say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me!”

In my case, my personality preference of “extraverted feeler,” means that when I am really, REALLY upset, I morph into an “introverted thinker.” I’m not very good at it since I don’t flex that introverted thinking muscle very often. So instead of effectively and efficiently problem solving like a skilled introverted thinker, I clam up, ruminate, don’t want to talk to anyone, and feel unable to receive any outside comfort. Thankfully, God in His mercy has a remedy for me even when I’m at my worst.

“…He bore the sins of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.”

Isaiah 53:12c (ESV)

Jesus, on the cross, bore our sin and still intercedes for us. Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, I am gifted with the Holy Spirit who prays for me when I don’t know what to pray.

“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 groaning too deep for words.”

Romans 8:26 (ESV)

When I am at my worst, I have the confidence that while I am frozen in stress, God is still working. He cares and is actively praying for me when I don’t know what to pray. Not only that but the Spirit knows exactly what to pray. The Holy Spirit is God and prays according to His will. He knows exactly how I feel and what I need even when I don’t.

“And He who searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Romans 8:27 (ESV)

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Published by Marnie Clark

As a certified Myers-Briggs practitioner and coach, Marnie enjoys working with clients to help them better understand themselves and others, facilitating both personal and professional growth. As the founder of the #MeetMeinIsaiah movement, she shares the hope of the Gospel through the creative promotion of Isaiah 53. Marnie hopes to encourage and inspire others to also use their unique gifts to share the Good News. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10, ESV

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Know What to Pray

  1. I desperately needed this reminder this morning! I, too, become frozen at the times when it seems I am most in need of prayer. I have always wondered “WHY do I respond in this way??” While I don’t know my Myers Briggs type, I can surmise that I am somewhere on this same scale….but God is faithful, ALWAYS, So grateful for this word from God, through you, this morning,

    1. Jackie, thank you so much for your comment! It means the world to me that God spoke to you through this blog. He is so faithful to speak to us to pray for us. You are so precious and I am so thankful for you and your constant encouragement to me!

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