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. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)
Read: Romans 8:1-27
Consider: Praying when the words just won’t come can seem a pointless exercise. We are so used to praying in words, we assume that when we cannot articulate what is on our heart God will not hear or understand us. How wrong we are! How can God answer our prayers when we can’t even put them into words?
In Romans 8, Paul talks about the whole creation groaning and us groaning as Christians. He then picks up on this in verses 26-27 where he talks about the Holy Spirit interceding on our behalf. What Paul says is that the Spirit is able to take the ‘wordless groans’ we make and somehow translate or interpret these on our behalf to God. This might seem impossible to us, but not to God. Please don’t imagine this is something like the universal translator used in Star Trek to communicate with alien races. While it would be humanly impossible to invent a translator that could interpret groans and sighs, the Holy Spirit takes what we cannot express in words and presents these to God on our behalf.
Sometimes the situation we want to pray for is so serious, or we hurt so much that it is impossible to find the words to express what is on our hearts. In these situations God will understand what is on your heart. Prayer does not have to be eloquent, using big words and sounding grand.
Take encouragement from this when faced with difficult situations and times when you just can’t find the words in prayer to express how you feel. Allow the Spirit to take your groans and sighs and present them to God on your behalf. As Paul says: ‘… he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God’.
Pray: Father, we all face times when we just can’t express in words what is on our hearts. Help us not to think prayer is pointless at these times, but help us to take time in prayer just to sit before you. Amen