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. Romans 8:26
We see here how the Holy Spirit is at work in our prayers. We don’t know how to pray according to the will of God or to put the right words to our struggles. But the Holy Spirit does.
He does all kinds of things for us and Romans 8 details some of them:
- 8:2 the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets you free from the law of sin and death.
- 8:4 the Spirit helps you fulfill the just requirement of the law.
- 8:6 the Spirit gives life and peace.
- 8:11 God will raise you from the dead by the Spirit who dwells in you.
- 8:13 the Spirit helps you put to death the deeds of the body.
- 8:14 the sons of God are led by the Spirit.
- 8:15-16 the Spirit bears witness in us that we are the children of God and so gives us assurance of our salvation.
- 8:23 the Holy Spirit is the foretaste and guarantee of our final redemption.
Now in verse 26 it tells that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness: in the middle of futility, decay and groaning on our way to Heaven. The Spirit isn’t in the middle of futility and groaning, He is before the throne of God–a much better place to be. God doesn’t expect us to know His will in every respect, just to place ourselves in the hands of the One who does know, on the one who sits before the throne. Verse 26 tells us that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. To intercede means to act or interpose on behalf of someone in difficulty or trouble, as by pleading or petition (dictionary.com).
Romans 8:27 tells us that God searches our hearts. We are not being hunted by Him, instead we are being understood by Him. When we can’t put words to our groanings or our longings, God knows our heart. He knows our desire to be with Him, and to serve Him even though we get messed up and distracted in the process. God is for us and is working on our behalf through the Holy Spirit who intercedes for us. He goes to God for us and He even groans for us as He prays. He hears what our need is from the God who searches our hearts and then prays for them to be accomplished. When I don’t know how to pray in a difficult or puzzling situation, I can pray “Holy Spirit, intercede for me to accomplish God’s will for me. I give this situation to you.”
That’s great news, so be encouraged as you pour out your heart to the God who is for you.