Following the Spirit in Prayer

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:26

We often hear things during sermons and read things in Christian literature that deal with the subject of “following the Holy Spirit.”  We often hear (and know) that we should be “led by the Spirit.”  We know that we should allow the Holy Spirit of God to help us and to guide us through life’s decisions and through life’s trials and tribulations.  But this verse gives us another aspect to being led by the Spirit: being led by Him in our prayers.

The disciples famously asked Jesus to “teach us to pray.”  They understood that they needed help in the matter of prayer, and the Lord Jesus helped them by giving them an example prayer, which we now call “the Lord’s prayer.”  We should be as wise as the disciples were and we should be asking the same question.

This verse tells us that we do not know how to pray as we ought.  I don’t know if that means that we don’t know what we should be praying for or if it means that we don’t even know how to pray or if it means both.  But it definitely means that we have a lot of work to do in the matter of prayer.  We need to be led by the Spirit in the matter of prayer.  We need to be sensitive to His leading when comes to our prayers.  There are things we should be praying for and about that maybe we don’t.  He will guide us if we will follow.

Fortunately, even our feeble and insignificant attempts at prayer are heard and answered – also due to the Spirit.  He makes “intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  It is good that we have such an intercessor because, despite our good intentions, we don’t even know how to pray!  Let us follow His guidance in the prayer today and every day!

2 responses to this post.

  1. We so need the Spirit’s help in intercession. Sometime it is only by His help that we can be brought to the place of agreement with God. So often in life our own wants and desires consume us to such a point that we cannot in our own self pray as God would have us pray. So the Spirit has to bring us to that place where we pray even what we do not want so that God may have His will done and His kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven.

    Reply

    • Amen to that. The older I get, the more I begin to realize just how self-centered I am. I don’t think we try to be that way, it’s just our nature. Fortunately, we do have the Spirit to help us and guide us to His way of thinking and praying!

      Reply

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