If we allow the Spirit, He will help us in our weaknesses and He will intercede for us within and according to the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 (ESV)
26 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 groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
You know, prayer is a challenge. If it weren’t hard, people would do it more often. We would have as many people to prayer meetings as we have on Sunday mornings, we wouldn’t have books and books on how to pray, and the apostle Paul would not have written this, today’s passage… if prayer came easy.
But God is on our side in the process. The Holy Spirit is right along there with us in our prayers. We once again get this word, “groans”, It’s the same word that we looked at yesterday in connection to suffering. The world groans awaiting its glorious restoration, we groan awaiting our Lord return. And here we see that the Spirit groans too. He’s longing for something better for us. He sees our weaknesses and failures. He sees our hearts, but He also sees what is making it so difficult for us. He knows we lack the power for prolonged concentration. He knows how hard it is for us to avoid distractions. He sees our mental conditions, and how hard it is to stop all wandering thoughts. He sees our uncontrolled passions, and knows how hard it is to govern our feelings. He knows our bodies, and our inabilities to prevent emotional changes. He understands our limited understanding, to know what lies in the future. And He is fully aware that we have no clue as to what it is that is really the best for us, and our growth in any given situation.
These are the issues we deal with, and these are the things that cause sympathy to rise up within the Spirit of God to help us move past them. This verse, as well as the next, says that the Spirit is actually praying for us. The word is “interceding”. It means to confer with. It means to entreat or plead and beg. It means to deal with. The word implies that the Spirit goes to the Father to talk about us. It’s no wonder this passage follows hot on the heels of the previous thought, not so much of suffering, but of hope. This is a wonderful truth. The Spirit is praying for us, and in that we can take hope.
Not only is the Spirit praying for us he is there with us when we are struggling to pray. The fights we fight when it comes to prayer, we do not battle alone. The Holy Spirit is there with us. We don’t know what we ought to pray for. We don’t always have the right words. We can’t see God’s perspective; we do not always know God’s will in a situation.. We just don’t know how to pray, or what to pray for. Which is why we need someone to help us pray. That’s one of the reasons the Holy Spirit came. To teach us. To translate our inner turmoils. The Spirit takes those requests to the Father, and because God knows our hearts, He can bring His will into our situations.
Today’s passage gives us several liberating insights into prayer. I suppose you could boil the paragraph down to this:
1. The Holy Spirit helps us know how to pray and what to pray for – v26.
2. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf – v26.
3. God hears our hearts more than the words in prayer – v27.
- Do you feel that God is on your side, wanting us to pray, wanting us to communicate with him. Knowing our weaknesses and just waiting for us to share them with Him?
- Does your prayer life reflect the truth that the Holy Spirit is active in praying with and through us? When you are struggling to pray do you even lift that up to the Lord in prayer?
Listen to the next song in a spirit of prayer, thanking God for the wonderful work of the Holy Spirit’s intercession for His children!