Bible Reading: Romans 8.26-27
In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Paul continues the theme of hope and comfort for believers with one of the most encouraging passages on prayer in the New Testament. Back in verse 9 of this chapter we read how the Spirit of God dwells in everyone who belongs to Christ. In today’s verses, Paul pictures the Holy Spirit groaning on our behalf on a level too deep for words. While Jesus intercedes on our behalf at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, the Holy Spirit ministers from within us when we pray, conveying our hurts and cares to the Father’s throne. What a great picture of how the Triune God of the universe cares for us!
When it comes to prayer, we have an omnipotence problem. Simply put, God is all knowing, and we are not. But our failure to know God’s will and inability to petition God specifically and assuredly is met by the Holy Spirit who not only intercedes for us, but does so according to the will of God. When we don’t know what to pray for or even pray for things that aren’t best for us, the Holy Spirit correctly translates this expression to the Father who knows and understands everything perfectly.
The things that often hinder us from praying, our weaknesses and limited understanding, are the very reasons we should pray more. God doesn’t care about the eloquence of our prayers. He desires us to pour out our hearts to him (Psalm 62:8). The Holy Spirit will take it from there.
This is a great comfort and encouragement to pray more freely and more often. As new creatures in Christ, crying out to our Heavenly Father should be our instinctive reaction to the trials of life, both big and small. Matthew Henry wrote, “How few among us there are whose spirits are stretching out eager desires towards the land of perpetual summer, like migratory birds in northern latitudes when the autumn days are shortening and the temperature is falling!”
Weekly Memory Verse: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28.19-20