“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 with groans that words cannot express.”Romans 8:26
Paul reminds us that all of creation is sighing and groaning under the weight of sin. That sighing is the prayer of every Christian, and thankfully, the Holy Spirit makes intercession even through our groaning.
Nearly everyone has experienced some agony in life that words cannot express. Do you feel the sting of sin, the hurt of a broken relationship? Do you know the pain of an empty chair at your table or the defeat of loneliness? A guilty conscience, unfaithfulness, bankruptcy, depression, exhaustion, illness may cause you to “groan” as you face the day. Your prayers feel empty.
The words of this passage meant much to me when my husband and I waited for years to adopt a baby. Each time a young woman chose us but later changed her mind, the heartache was too great for words. The Holy Spirit heard and knew our yearning, a groaning which had buried in it the simple words of Jesus: “Not my will, Thy will be done.” Even when your prayers seem to go unanswered and when you are speechless, let that be your prayer, too.
“…We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons.” (Romans 8:23)