Have you ever wanted to pray but simply had a hard time lifting your voice toward heaven? Have you ever been asked to pray but you really didn’t feel like you could? We’ve all felt like this from time to time. That’s why today’s message is a source of great comfort for all of us!
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. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28)
How we need Gospel reminders of the strength we have in our weakness! To know the Spirit Himself intercedes for us through “wordless groans” (whatever they may be) is a source of great encouragement in those times when we feel we cannot lift our voices to the throne of grace. We are not abandoned in our weakness! When we are weak He is strong. When we are fearful He is faithful. Knowing that He searches our hearts and knows us completely and still loves us—in spite of what he sees—brings to us the place of peace that passes all understanding.
If not for the truths of the Gospel I would believe that God searches my heart to guilt me, not to grow me . . . to shame me, not to strengthen me . . . to demean me, not to deliver me . . . to condemn me, not to change me. . . to hurt me, not to heal me . . . to break me, not to build me. But He works all things for my good and that encourages me to keep on praying, especially in those times when my prayers do not seem to rise past the rafters.
So let the truth of this passage empower you to pray . . . even when you don’t feel like praying! God already knows what you need and want. The Spirit himself is already interceding on your behalf. And unlike some of the prayers we lift to heaven, the Spirit always prays in accordance with the will of God. Scripture promises that our God will meet our every need. Note that it doesn’t say our God will meet our every want . . . but God will give us what we need, because He has promised to give it.
Thank God that the answers to our prayers are not rooted in our prayer life but in the Spirit’s prayer life on our behalf! When we can’t pray He can, and He does . . . and that truth should keep us praying. When we can’t find the words, Gospel-saturated groans will be good enough.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!