Bible Society of South Africa
Louise Gevers

The Holy Spirit – Day 17

The Holy Spirit as Intercessor

Bible text(s)

26In the same way the Spirit also comes to help us, weak as we are. For we do not know how we ought to pray; the Spirit himself pleads with God for us in groans that words cannot express. 27And God, who sees into our hearts, knows what the thought of the Spirit is; because the Spirit pleads with God on behalf of his people and in accordance with his will.

Romans 8:26-27GNBOpen in Bible reader

As we read the text today, we begin to understand how important our prayer is to God. We know this because He recognizes our limitations and reaches out to us by putting the Holy Spirit in place to help us in a very amazing and profound way: The Holy Spirit Himself pleads for us, even as Christ searches our hearts so that our prayer can be made acceptable to God’s will.

Christian living means joy-filled walking with Christ in newness of life, but also a simultaneous battle against the devil, who constantly “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). We are weak and cannot beat him in our own strength; we need God’s help to “resist him, standing firm in the faith …” (1 Peter 5:9) and thwart his constant attacks.

Prayer is therefore an essential part of living a victorious Christian life. Through it we learn to hear the LORD’s voice as we grow in perseverance and as we learn faith and trust. The irony is that we are weak in the very thing that can strengthen us, prayer, and find it difficult, just like the sleeping disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Some Christians say they cannot pray, but Martin Luther refutes this. He said: “To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” He knew that a prayer relationship with God was vital and without it, the Christian would not withstand the traps set by the devil.

Although we may not feel confident about praying, we must remember that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness”. Even though we do not know what to pray, He understands at the very deepest level and comes alongside us and negotiates for us, according to God’s will, and brings us straight into God’s presence. It is when we feel very deeply or are in great pain that we do not have words, so we express ourselves in a groan; it is at this point that the Spirit takes over. Perhaps you have heard the groans at a rugby game and seen miracles afterwards?

John Bunyan said: “In prayer it is better to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” So, let us take heart because we know that “The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God” (1 Corinthians 2:10).

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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