Romans 8:26 - In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.
Paul was talking about what is to come. He spoke of creation and how it is groaning as in the pains of childbirth and how the Spirit also groans inside of us. All this is in anticipation of what is to come, which is the fulfillment of our adoption into God’s family. This adoption has already taken place in the Spiritual, as our spirits are made alive with Christ, but in the natural we wait patiently for the redemption of our bodies.
This is what Paul was referring to when he starts verse 26 by saying “In the same way.” He’s referring to the Spirit groaning inside us, helping us in our weakness. No we must understand that the Spirit helps us with many things, but Paul is very specific here to what he is talking about.
Have you ever had a time when you know you need to pray, but you don’t know what to say? It seems the right words just aren’t there to express what you are feeling? Sometimes in prayer the words just flow freely, but then there are those other times. That’s when we see this verse at work. We need to surrender to the leading of the Spirit in all areas of life, but sometimes when praying we need to let the Spirit take complete control.
There are different levels of prayer. In his letter to Thessalonica Paul reminds us to “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). This is in referring to an open line of communication between you and God. Throughout your day you should constantly be talking to God, not just about needs and wants, but to praise and honor Him.
Then there’s prayer with the laying on of hands. Someone needs healing or direction, something specific, so you lay hands on them and pray for their needs. This normally happens within a body of believers. You surround the person and lay hands on them and all take turns praying for their specific need.
Sometimes you need more though. There are times when you need to shut everything else out and get on your knees before God. This is where this verse comes in to play. You are pouring out your heart to God, but have ran out of words to say, then the Spirit steps in for us and prays for us. Often this will be in your personal prayer time, but there are times when you will see this at work in a group. If you are all gathered in one heart and mind before God for a common purpose you will see the Spirit move this way as well.
If you have never had the Spirit move on you in this way I encourage you to get before God and pray. Pour out your heart to Him and let His Spirit move in you. It will change your life and give you clarity in whatever you are going through.