The Groaning of the Spirit
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Groaning is a thread woven through the middle of Romans 8. As we saw in last week’s reflections, creation groans as it awaits the new creation yet to come. We join the natural world in groaning because we too are caught in the suffering of this broken world.
Romans 8:26 includes one of the most surprising truths of Scripture. When we are weighed down by life’s heavy burdens, there are times when we don’t even know how to pray. Yet in these moments, “the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” Wow! In the mystery of God’s triune nature, the very Spirit of God prays for us. And these prayers include wordless groanings.
Here is wonderful news for us. When you don’t know how to pray, the Spirit of God is there to help. When you run out of words, God understands your wordless sighs. When all you have to bring before God are your tears, he can read the meaning of each one. Moreover, as amazing as it sounds, the triune God is praying with you, through you, and even for you. God enters into the brokenness of our world and our lives, sharing even in our groaning.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Have you ever experienced God’s help while you were praying? When? How do you respond to the amazing truth that the Spirit of God prays for you?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, I must confess that much of the truth of this verse eludes me. Oh, I get the main points, and I believe them. But the thought that you are praying for me is more than my mind can comprehend.
Nevertheless, I thank you for the extraordinary truth that your Spirit prays for me with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. How grateful I am that you help me to pray . . . and even pray for me. What a wonder!
O Lord, may the truth of Romans 8 draw me to you. May our fellowship be deeper, truer, and wider. I pray through Christ. Amen.