3rd August 2023
Natalie Regoli offers the
Meaning of the Spirit Helps Us in Our Weakness
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." Romans 8:26
Paul has spent the previous paragraph of Romans explaining that we, along with the whole creation, suffer as we wait eagerly and patiently for the return of Jesus.
Paul says we are those have been given the Holy Spirit to help us wait.
One of the ways that the Spirit helps us is by interceding for us when we don't know what to pray for.
Not only does Jesus intercede for us at the right hand of God, but, by "wordless groans," the Holy Spirit is also interceding. When we know what to pray for, we should pray with words, but in our flesh and our limited revelation, we don't always know.
In this case, God knows, and his Spirit intercedes for us. This is a provision for our weakness and limited revelation.
The Bible is clear that we are to seek God's will in prayer and pray accordingly.
But it is wonderful that we don't have to somehow think of every little thing that we are going to need God's help with. He already "knows what you need."
It behoves us to obey Jesus and "seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness", because in this way, "all these things," including the things that the Spirit will intercede for, "will be added" to us.
"In the same way," Verse 25 says that "if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently." Then in verse 26, it follows, "In the same way."
It is hard to get Paul's meaning here. It seems that in the same way we hope, by the power of the Spirit, we are helped as we wait hopefully, by the same power."
"The Spirit helps us in our weakness." We are weak, in our flesh, both spiritually and physically, and we are in constant need of God's grace and help. He has sent the Holy Spirit for this purpose.
"We do not know what we ought to pray for," This does not mean that we never know what to pray for.
Paul states, elsewhere, the fact that we should pray for what we know we need (Eph 6:18).
But in our limited condition, there are many things that we need God to do for us that we are not even aware of, and perhaps never will be. How amazing that God has provided a way for us to pray for things we don't even know we need by the Holy Spirit.
"But the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans." The Holy Spirit of God himself needs not a form of words to appeal to the mind of the Father, being one with him. This is a deep mystery, and while it is hard to understand, the application is hope and thankfulness for the provision of God, even to supply prayers on our behalf when we are too weak or ignorant to pray them.
Hudson Taylor said (source unknown),
"All God's giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them."
We fail to pray because we think that we're strong enough to handle life without God.
It's encouraging here in Romans 8:26 that God doesn't confront us or condemn us for being weak.
Rather, He sends His Spirit to help us in our weakness.
In a message at the '2011 Desiring God Pastor's Conference', Francis Chan told of many answers to prayer that he has received. He said that for those who know the living God, this should be the norm.
We should have such frequent answers to our prayers that we're surprised when an occasional one goes unanswered.
Message by Wil Pounds (c).
God wants us to ask.
One of the great mysteries of life is prayer.
God the Father takes joy in answering prayer. It is our responsibility to go to Him and enter into fellowship with Him.
Prayer is more than just asking God for things.
It is an attitude, a way of life. It involves formal prayers as when we come before Him in corporeal worship.
It is also when we come before Him silently in the classroom, a business adventure, or in a public setting.
Bible references avaiable, on request
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys.
She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.
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