When I face a challenge or have a large task to accomplish, I always know that my wife, Jane, will be praying for me. If I feel I need more prayer, I have friends that I can ask. But I always have someone else praying for me, whose voice I have never heard: the Holy Spirit.
Paul mentions this mysterious ministry of prayer in the context of a larger discussion about the Spirit’s work in our lives. All those who have the Holy Spirit living in them “are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit” (v. 9). The apostle makes it clear in this same verse that everyone who belongs to Christ also has the Holy Spirit. The Spirit’s presence obligates us to live “according to the Spirit” (v. 12). We do this by living in the power of the Spirit. God’s Spirit enables us to resist the impulses of the sinful nature (v. 13).
This does not mean that those who possess the Spirit never struggle. In verse 18 Paul acknowledges that Christians suffer. The struggle may be so intense that even we who “have the firstfruits of the Spirit” often “groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (v. 23). The Holy Spirit groans along with us but His groans are prayers. The Spirit “intercedes for us” (v. 26), and “he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God” (v. 27).
No wonder Paul can say that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (v. 28). What the Holy Spirit prays always agrees with God’s will. His requests for us are never refused.
>> While you may sometimes be at a loss for words, the Holy Spirit never is. “The Spirit helps us in our weakness” (v. 26). He knows just how to pray for you.
God, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Thank You for helping us in our weakness. Thank You for praying for us! Knowing that the Spirit Himself is praying on our behalf gives us comfort and hope.