When the Holy Spirit Groans in Prayer
The indwelling Spirit of God works in us in pray to cry out
Abba, Father, Daddy. He helps us to endure sufferings so that we
may patiently look forward to the final redemption of our bodies when we will see Jesus
with glory that is burst upon us at His coming.
We are commanded in the Scriptures to pray continually (1
Thess. 5:17). When we pray we are petitioning the sovereign Creator of
the universe and speaking to Him personally as we present our adoration, confessions, thanksgivings, and
supplications to Him. He patiently listens to us and responds to us
consistently out of His infinite wisdom.
Since that is true why is it so hard to pray? Why is prayer a problem
even for mature Christians? The apostle Paul says it is because of our
weakness. Phillips translates Romans 8:26, The Spirit of God not only
maintains this hope within us, but helps us in our present limitations. The
wonderful thing is His intercessions for the saints are always in harmony with Gods
will. He comes to our aid in our infirmities.
Paul does not say the Holy Spirit removes our weaknesses,
but that He helps us. We live our whole Christian life in conditions of
humility and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit comes along side as our Helper
and gives us wisdom and strength. He helps those who cannot help
What is the problem? We do not know what we should ask God. What is
His sovereign will for us, our family, our ministry, etc.? We often do not know what we
need, nor do we know what is best for us.
Every Christian experiences these weaknesses and it is this that
makes prayer difficult. Have you not experienced on numerous occasions how difficult it is
to stop and pray in your busy schedule, and then when you are in His presence in prayer it
is so sweet and wonderful you do not want to stop? Your spirit refuses to leave the sacred
place. The Holy Spirit helps us in the weaknesses. He intercedes for us with
groans that words cannot express (v. 26). The all-powerful Holy Spirit is our
Helper. He comes to our aid for access to the Father (Eph. 2:18).
The apostle Paul uses the word sunantilambanetai that denotes
a person coming alongside another to take part of a heavy load to help him bear it.
Jesus had the same idea in mind when He called the Holy Spirit Parakletos,
one who is called alongside of another to help in time of need. The Holy
Spirit comes along side to help us in our weakness. How hopeless we are, yet He bears our
burdens. The emphasis Paul is making is this is a divine work, not half-divine and
We do not know what to pray for in the midst of our suffering the
heavy load so He gets up under it with us and bears it along. He identifies with us in our
We do not know how or what to pray for in those difficult moments of
suffering, but He does because He knows us intimately and He knows perfectly the will of
God, and our weaknesses. Prayer covers every aspect of our need, and our weakness is made
clear by our not knowing what to pray for now. We so often do not have the whole picture.
We see only the hurt, pain, suffering, etc. The Holy Spirit comes to our help and makes
In fact, we have two divine intercessors: Jesus Christ is at the
right hand of the Father in heaven interceding on our behalf (Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25; 1 Jn.
2:1), and the Holy Spirit in our hearts is also interceding (Jn. 14:16, 17). The Holy
Spirit intercedes with groanings which cannot be uttered that ascend to
the throne of grace.
The Spirit Himself intercedes, pleads on our behalf. It
is a beautiful word picturing the rescue by someone who happens on a person
who is in trouble and in his behalf pleads with sighs that baffle
God the Father searches the heart (v. 27; 1 Chron. 28:9; Ps. 139:1,
23; Jer. 17:10; 1 Cor. 4:5; Heb. 4:13). The mind of the Spirit Himself makes
interpretation for the saints according to the will of God. The person who makes the
intercession is a member of the Trinity. We do not know what the will of God is, but He
What are these groanings? These
inarticulate groans do not escape the omniscient ears of God. They are
perfectly intelligent to Him and always according to His perfect will.
They are initiated by the Holy Spirit and borne to the presence of the
Father. Because they are the intercessions of the Holy Spirit,
they are acceptable to the Father.
The God who searches our hearts knows the mind of the
Spirit and answers according to Gods will. Since His way is perfect we are
always assured of His very best for us. We do not know what we ought to pray
for, but the Holy Spirit always knows, and God the Father will always answer His
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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