The Spirit in Our Weakness

Verlyn Verbrugge

READ : Romans 8:26-27

The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (v. 26, NIV)

She came into my office distraught and with tear-stained eyes. “Pastor,” she blurted out, “ever since my husband was killed in that accident, I just cannot seem to pray. I don’t know what to say, and I don’t even feel God’s presence around me.”

We all experience times like this. When we do, Romans 8:26-27 is a glorious passage of God’s Word to read. It offers comfort and hope in the midst of despair.

Paul recognizes that we all go through experiences when we are so weak “we do not know what we ought to pray for.” We groan deeply, and no words come. Paul assures us that when this occurs, the Holy Spirit, who lives within us (Romans 8:11), takes over, interpreting these groans and bringing our true needs before our heavenly Father.

So when you come to those moments in your life when you cannot pray, when all you can do is groan and cry out, remember this: that’s all you need to do. Your prayer is heard, since the Spirit links you directly to the God who searches the heart. God’s Spirit himself is interceding for you “in accordance with God’s will.”


Spirit of God, when I don’t know how to pray, please interpret my groans before the Father’s throne. Amen.