“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Ole Hallesby says, “Prayer is for the helpless.” We may consider ourselves strong, courageous and able, but the truth when it comes to prayer is quite the contrary: “Prayer and helplessness are inseparable. Only he who is helpless can truly pray.” What does this mean? Hallesby explains that prayer is an attitude of the heart, and this spiritual condition begins with helplessness. Sometimes we feel as if we are at the end of our rope and don’t know what to do. Or we may feel we can’t bring ourselves to pray, or we may feel our minds are too full of sin and impurity to pray. We may be lukewarm and half-hearted about exposing ourselves to God in prayer, struggling about our dishonesty. We may feel overwhelmed by circumstances and helpless to live a holy Christian life.

Hallesby says, “Your helplessness is your best prayer. It calls from your heart to the heart of God with greater effect than all your uttered pleas. He hears it from the moment you are seized with helplessness, and He becomes actively engaged at once in hearing and answering the prayer of your helplessness. Our Father listens to our cries as a mother listens to her child. He is moved with compassion and brings comfort. Our Father sees our distress, and His Holy Spirit is full of concern and ready to comfort us. Prayer is for the helplessness. Prayer is for you, and for me.

Adapted from The One Year Book of Encouragement