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The Helper and Prayer

 Paul gives us some great advice about prayer in Romans 8, 26,27. He says,” Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”

He first says, “we do not know what to pray.” Sometimes we don’t know the words to pray or we simply don’t know His will for another person, a situation or ourselves.  We can be assured that God does, however we may only be able to groan or say but a few audible words.

Paul tells us the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. The word translated “helps” in verse twenty-six is also used in Luke 10:40 where Martha wants Mary to come and help her. The word does not indicate that the Holy Spirit prays instead of us, but that the Holy Spirit takes part with us and makes our prayers more effective. He understands our groans. He knows we don’t have any words at that moment. He’s there to help.

E.M Bounds helps us us understand what this means. He wrote, “We pray by the actual presence of the Holy Spirit. He puts the desire on our hearts; kindles that desire by His own flame. We simply give lip and voice and heart to His unutterable groanings. Our prayers are taken up by Him and energized and sanctified by His intercession. He prays for us, through us and in us. We pray by Him and in Him. He puts the prayer in us, and we give it utterance and heart.”[1]

While our groanings can imply distress or anguish, The Holy Spirit doesn’t replace our prayers, He “helps” carry the message and makes powerful intercession before God’s throne.

We have a Helper who comes alongside of us as we pray. Just as He gives us security and hope in other circumstances, He gives us confidence in our prayers.

The Holy Spirit, the Helper, understands. He takes our sighs and or groans and brings them to God.

Pastor David Jeremiah wrote, “Have you ever asked someone to pray for you because of a crushing heaviness you felt in your life, but didn’t even know how to word your request? Sometimes what we feel inside seems so hard to explain. Sometimes we’re embarrassed to admit to an old problem or habit that has been with us for years. But we don’t have to explain anything to the Spirit of God. We don’t have to search for words. He knows very well what plagues us and burdens us and worries us and presses in our spirit. And He spreads those very things out before the Father’s throne.”[2]



[1] E. M. Bounds, The Reality of Prayer, (Grand Rapids, Baker Book House, 1991), 58

[2] David Jeremiah ,God in You: Releasing the Power of the Holy Spirit in Your Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1998), 35

One response to “The Helper and Prayer”

  1. There is great comfort in this truth. If we can do our part to pray or even groan, our need is carried by the Helper to the Father. We don’t have to use those speech patterns of “you know what I mean?” or “does that sense? with God!