Sunday – February 6, 2022
Word On Worship – Sunday – February 6, 2022
“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”
Paul wants to encourage us, especially when we feel our own weakness, because the Holy Spirit is praying for us. Even though we do not know how to pray as we should, we should be encouraged to keep praying because “the Spirit also helps our weakness.” We tend to look at the spiritual giants in the Bible and think, “Wow, they were strong!” Look at Elijah! What a guy! He called down fire on his sacrifice and then slaughtered 400 prophets of Baal. Yet James (5:17) tells us, “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed….” Elijah was weak, just like we are. But he prayed to the God who is strong.
Or, consider Moses. He stood up to the most powerful monarch in the world by calling down miraculous plagues on him and his kingdom. He parted the Red Sea so that the Israelites could pass through on dry ground. He seemed to be a rock of spiritual strength! And yet in the mournful Psalm 90, Moses laments the frailty and shortness of life. The psalm ends with his plea (Ps. 90:17), “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands.” If Moses needed to beg God to confirm his labors, how much more do we? Moses was aware of his own weakness, which is why he prayed.
Our weakness lies in our complete inability to verbalize our groanings—or to know what to ask in prayer. Our groanings are beyond the ability of words to communicate—any words. If the gift of tongues is the ability to speak in some language, then even speaking in tongues could not convey our groanings. The Spirit intercedes for us, communicating our groanings to God. He conveys to God what we cannot put into words, and He also intercedes with requests which are consistent with the will of God. When we cannot speak, the Spirit speaks for us, to God. The Holy Spirit is the communicative link between our own heart and the heart of God. He ministers to us in our present weakness.
Has suffering and groaning found its way into your life? Are there deep inner agonies you cannot even verbalize? Our experience is not unique, but that of all creation. It is that which should be happening to every Christian at various times and with various levels of intensity. We should not feel guilt-ridden or unspiritual over our groanings. If you have come to recognize your own fallenness and that of the world in which you live, you have come to see life as it really is. You are sharing in that same kind of suffering and groaning which our Lord experienced as the Son of God.