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The Helper Prays When Words Escape Us

 When our words and prayers escape us in times of compassion, frustration, anger, burdens, bondage, captivity, oppression, harassment, mourning, desperation, brokenness, anxiety and waiting, The Helper is there to pray for us and through us according to the will of God. He’s there and we need to let Him come alongside and be the Helper. We need to stop trying to pray “ourselves” and simply let the Holy Spirit, through our desperate groans, lead us to effective prayer.

I love what Andrew Murray wrote, “Through the Holy Spirit descending from Christ to us, we are drawn up into the great stream of His ever-ascending prayers. The Spirit prays for us without words. In the depths of a heart where even thoughts are at times formless, the Spirit takes us up into the wonderful flow of the life of the triune God. Through the Spirit, Christ’s prayers become ours, and ours are made His.”[1]

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, dwells deeply in us. When He hears our groans, our cries and our sighs, He prays in deep utterance for us to the Father.

We don’t need to spend our time looking for the right words. We don’t need to sweep the cosmos with grand and glorious prayers that go on forever. We just need to be on our knees, humbly before God and groaning or sighing—allowing the Helper to carry our message to the Father and work in our hearts. The Holy Spirit abides within us and connects us with the Spirit of God.

There will be times when you simply cannot pray and the Holy Spirit will give you utterance. He will direct you into God’s will. Only the Spirit of God knows our real needs and the real needs of others and the Helper’s intercession leads us there as He prays according to God’s will.

Some of the holiest, most powerful prayers we’ve ever prayed may have sounded like nothing more than a desperate, tired sigh. That is The Helper praying for us and through us with groanings that can’t be uttered. Those prayers are heard in heaven, and we need to keep them flowing!



[1] Andrew Murray, Teach Me to Pray, (Bloomington, MN, Bethany House Publishers, 1982, 2002), 172

2 responses to “The Helper Prays When Words Escape Us”

  1. John Varah says:

    Where does praying “in the spirit” [tongues] fit in?

    • Steve Berger says:

      John, I cover this quite extensively in the sermon series Pneuma (part 2): the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’d encourage you to get that CD or DVD and listen to it. In brief,gifts of tongues helped the disciples spread the Word of God (Acts 2:4–12 and 1 Corinthians 14:22). Today, believers who speak in tongues use the gift to magnify, bless and thank God and anything that’s outside of those components needs to be tested by Scripture. Believers are able to build themselves up on the faith with the gift of tongues. Unlike any other gift, it primarily benefits the speaker. Read Jude 1:20. Paul also spends some time talking about interpreting the gift of tongues. When it’s shared it’s important that it be interpreted and that it falls within the scriptural guidelines of declaring the wonderful works of God, magnifying, blessing and thanking Him. Some other suggested reading: 1 Corinthians 14:13,14; Philippians 4:6,7. For how the gift should be used in a corporate/church setting read 1 Corinthians 14:27,28.