- Matthew Klassen
The Holy Spirit Prays for Us
The Holy Spirit is often thought of as an impersonal force, working out the will of God with no ability to empathize with our emotional ups and downs. Paul however, draws a different picture of who the Spirit is and the ways in which he acts on our behalf. He says in Romans 8:26, “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.”
Prior to this, Paul explains to us that all of creation is groaning, as if in childbirth, in its corruption and bondage to sin. He says,
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8 :22-23)
This groaning in pain is a universal human experience that we can not escape. The evil, suffering, and death in this world are still as much a part of our existence today as it was 2000 years ago. As Christians though, our groaning is characterized by a longing for the redemption of our bodies as Paul states in verse 23. Our hope is in Christ, not in this world.
So, what does it mean for the Christian that the Holy Spirit is interceding for us?
1. God Understands Us
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray by interceding for us and expressing the things that we have no words for. There are times in life when words are simply inadequate to express how we feel. When we don’t know how to pray as we ought, we can be comforted by knowing that through the intercession of the Holy Spirit, our seemingly inexpressible requests will be made known to God. This should give us great encouragement knowing that our hidden feelings are not ours to bear alone.
To know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us should give the Christian great assurance. He is our advocate. As Christ is our high priest and is interceding for us, so is the Spirit who brings our requests to God through Jesus Christ. Hebrews 4:14 says “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” We should be encouraged to press on in the faith, knowing that God is on our side and will see us through to the end.
3. He Sustains Us
We are dependent on the Holy Spirit to keep and sustain us every step of the way. The ability to commune with God in prayer is an amazing privilege for the believer, but it is only made possible by the work of the Spirit within us. We can see the utter dependence we have on God if even in prayer we need His power to help us pray to Him!
We have seen that the Holy Spirit is much more than an impersonal force. He is our comforter and helper. He helps us to pray when we don’t know how. The work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers is a great help in sustaining the Christian in this life.