My heart goes out to you in this time of “great loss and illness.” And there is One whose heart is touched with your infirmities and weakness with perfect sympathy and understanding. Of course I’m speaking of our Great High Priest, the Lord Jesus. The writer to the Hebrews assures us of His love and sympathy in these words, “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot SYMPATHIZE WITH OUR WEAKNESSES, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). What we learn here is that we DO have a Great High Priest who DOES sympathize with us when we are weak. He too walked through this scene of sin and suffered as “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3), and thus He understands, with a perfect heart that beats towards us with perfect love, exactly what we are going through.

You say you are too weary to pray. The Lord Jesus knows that too and sympathizes all the more with your weakness. Yet in the next verse (Hebrews 4:16) you are still invited to pray, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Even though you are “too weary to pray” I would encourage you to “pray silently from your heart.” We have a beautiful example of this in the story of Hannah in 1st Samuel chapter one. Hannah was very grieved due to her inability to bear a child and thus we read that “she wept and did not eat” (verse 7). We then read “And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed to the LORD and wept in anguish (verse 10). Yet she did not pray out loud for verse 13 tells us that “Hannah SPOKE IN HER HEART; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.” The Lord had pity on Hannah and answered her prayer by opening up her womb and giving her a son, “And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, ‘Because I have asked for him from the LORD’” (verses 19-20). I trust this true story of Hannah’s weakness and silent prayer, along with the Lord’s gracious answer to her prayer, will encourage you to “come boldly to the throne of grace” and offer up a silent prayer, believing that you can “obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Perhaps, in your weakness, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT TO PRAY. If that is the case there is a precious promise for you in Romans 8:26-27, which reads: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” If we find ourselves at the throne of grace and thoughts and words fail to come, the indwelling Holy Spirit comes to our side to help us and He will “make intercession for us!” He knows our hearts and God’s will much better than we do and He will pray for us “with groanings which cannot be uttered.” We can surely count on God the Father hearing the prayers of the Spirit and then answering those prayers in His own time and according to His “good and acceptable and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).

I have one more thought for you to consider. In your weakness you can also ask others to pray for you. James 5:14-15 say, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him….and the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.” We are told in Galatians 6:2 to “Bear one another’s burdens” and so it is fitting to “share our burdens with others so they can bear our burdens with us.” Part of “bearing one another’s burdens” would be “praying for them” and as we see in James 5:15 “the prayer of faith will save the sick.”  I would encourage you to reach out to other believers who are known to be “prayer warriors” who believe in the power of prayer. They will no doubt respond to your cry, come to your side, and “pray for you.”  (417.1)  (DO)