"Help for Our Prayers"
May 12, 2005Email to a FriendPrint
The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us. Romans 8:26
Christians have the Father in heaven to care for them. They have also the Son of God to make intercession for them, as Saint John writes: “We have one who speaks to the Father in our defense – Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 John 2:1-2).
There is still another, the Holy Spirit, who not only prays for us but also with us. While Christ intercedes in heaven, the Spirit intercedes in our hearts.
Someone has written: “You might say the Holy Spirit performs a type of editing service on prayers.” In a publishing house an editor helps the author in making the message of his manuscript more effective and clear. An editor doesn’t do the work for the author; he helps him or her.
We learn from Holy Scripture that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us “with groans that words cannot express" (Romans 8:26). A hymn stanza explains: The Spirit “can plead for me with sighings that are unspeakable to lips like mine; He bids me pray with earnest cryings, bears witness with my soul that I am Thine.”
Saint Paul declares: The Spirit is in prayer partnership with us. He takes hold on the other end. The picture is of someone who helps us carry a heavy burden or move a piece of furniture by taking hold on the other end.
Often we don’t know how to pray and for what to ask. The Spirit teaches us. He whispers the answer in our heart. Our prayers may be weak; the Spirit, like a booster station, sends them on. He takes our groans, sighs, brief prayer fragments, our “Abba Father” (Galatians 4:6), and conveys them to the heavenly Father in our behalf.
PRAYER: O Holy Spirit, teach me what to pray for and lend support to my petitions in Jesus’ name. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)