Key Verse: And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. – Romans 8:26
Paul teaches us in Romans 8 that the indwelling Spirit of God works in us enabling us to cry out “Abba,” “Father, Daddy.” (see Romans 8:15). Furthermore, He helps us to endure sufferings so that we may patiently look forward to the final redemption of our bodies when we will see Jesus (see Romans 8:18).
Since all this is true, why is it so hard to pray? Why is prayer a problem even for mature Christians? The apostle Paul says it is because of “our weakness.” Paul does not say the Holy Spirit removes our “weaknesses,” but that He “helps” us in it. We live our whole Christian life in conditions of humility and weaknesses. The Holy Spirit comes alongside as our Helper and gives us wisdom and strength. The wonderful thing is His intercessions for the saints is always in harmony with God’s will. He comes to our aid in our infirmities.
The apostle Paul uses a word in the greek which is similar to the word Jesus used for comforter, Parakletos. It denotes a person coming alongside another to take part of a heavy load to help him bear it. Often, we do not know what to pray for in the midst of our suffering, so the Holy Spirit holds us up and bears the burden alongside us. He identifies with us in our weakness.
When we do not know what to pray for, He does because He knows us intimately and He knows perfectly the will of God (being God himself), and our weaknesses. We so often do not have the whole picture. We see only the hurt, pain, defeat, suffering, etc. But even in these times, The Holy Spirit comes to our help and makes intercession.
Matthew Henry wrote: Though the infirmities of Christians are many and great, so that they would be overpowered if left to themselves, yet the Holy Spirit supports them. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for; as a sanctifying Spirit, works and stirs up praying graces; as a comforting Spirit, silences our fears, and helps us over all discouragements. The Holy Spirit is the spring of all desires toward God, which are often more than words can utter. The Spirit who searches the hearts, can perceive the mind and will of the spirit, the renewed mind, and advocates his cause. The Spirit makes intercession to God, and the enemy prevails not.