The Spirit’s Help

Jon Brown

READ : Romans 8:26-27

Likewise the Spirit helps in us our weakness. For we do not know how to pray as we ought. (v. 26)

When we pray we never pray alone. Even when praying privately we do not pray by ourselves. The Spirit prays both in us and for us. So much of the attention on prayer is devoted to our act of praying. We attend conferences on pursuing a deeper prayer life. We sometimes fall prey to the thinking that the more people we have praying the more likely it is that God will hear and answer our prayers. We ask pastors for helpful hints or strategies on a more effective prayer life. While there is certainly nothing wrong with pursuing a deeper prayer life, or asking our friends to pray for us, or finding helpful practices to enable us to pray in faithfulness, it’s important to remember that our efforts aren’t the most important thing in prayer. The most important thing is that the Spirit helps us pray.

How do you pray for your friend with cancer? How do you pray for your family member with the persistent physical ailment? How do you pray for your parishioner who just does not seem to recover? Pray, by all means pray. Pray your heart and desires, be guided by the Scriptures in your prayers. But with all the important lessons you have learned about prayer, remember this first: “the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (v. 27).


Holy Spirit, please pray for us because sometimes we do not know how to pray. Amen.