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. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26–27—NKJV)

Our whole life is a series of personal self-discoveries. It is an undeniable fact that we are changeable creatures. We do not start as a blank slate. The Scriptures declare we are conceived with a sinful nature. We also inherit a personality which takes shape within the first few years of our life. During those years we settle into a comfort zone of status, class, and background. By the time we have reached maturity we generally believe that we are set and our changing is over, though we have been going through changes the whole way through puberty, parental discipline, and peer pressure.

In our adulthood we face the adversities of life and the seasons of change that wash over us at every turn of life. People, circumstances, resources, and calamities (both unavoidable and those of our own doing) multiply the complications of the natural seasons of our fallen lives. Every one of these elements collude together to extract and mine new evidences of your old nature in the unguarded moment, in your self-satisfied righteousness, in the wiles of the canny enemy of your soul, in the temptations of the flesh, and so forth.

Never forget that we are changeable beings in a changing world; therefore who you were fairly certain you were, you find out you really may not be. This is not the experience of God. He changes not, nor can He change (James 1:17, Hebrews 6:17–18). He is perfection itself in all His excellencies. One of the distinctions of the Triunity of God is the fact that “He is the same in essence in all of His persons.” There are no contradictions within the Godhead. He is perfect truth (John 14:6) and desires unvarnished and unwhitewashed truth in every last one of His saints (Jeremiah 20:12). David states, in Psalm 51:6, “Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part You will make me to know wisdom.” It is imperative for the believer’s success, usefulness, and well-being in both the spiritual life and the physical life to speak truth to the One who is True!

What makes it difficult to know the truth about ourselves and to speak truth in prayer and supplication is the fact that every man’s heart is deceitful. Jeremiah 17:9–10 states, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.” Jeremiah also states in 23:23–24, “’Am I a God near at hand,’ says the LORD, ‘and not a God afar off? Can anyone hide himself in secret places, so I shall not see him?’ Says the LORD; ‘Do I not fill heaven and earth?’ says the LORD.”

The supernatural ability of our Lord Jesus Christ to know the inner thoughts and ponderings of the hearts of men was a matter of renown among His disciples. John 2:24–25 reads, “But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” Similar notes are found in Mark 2:8, Luke 6:8 and Luke 11:17. It follows that God knows you and me just as intimately even though we are unsure of ourselves.

In fact, Psalm 17:3 shows the extent to which He knows us: “You have tested [probed] my heart; You have visited [examined] me in the night; You have tried [tested] me and found nothing.” David further prays in 19:12–13, “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults. Keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me.” He also invites God’s scrutiny in 139:23–24: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me.”

How do we live truthfully in our “heart of hearts” amid all our changeableness while relating to the unchangeable God? First, search the Word of Truth faithfully. Hebrews 4:12 points out the peculiar abilities of this divinely-inspired Word. Second, filter your prayer life through the eyes and heart of the Spirit of God. Review our verse and notice that the Holy Spirit is already interceding for you in the realm of truth. Third, confess and forsake your sin (Psalm 32). Fourth, live in uprightness of heart (Micah 6:8). Trust and obey.