This is one of the greatest miracles of grace. The apostle Paul told us that the Holy Spirit who lives inside us “intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26). Even when we don’t know how to pray, the Holy Spirit prays the perfect will of God. No matter what kind of dark difficulty we face, the Spirit travails for us until we emerge safely through the test.
Have you ever “groaned” in prayer? Most of us know the feeling. We may not feel full of faith when we utter our deepest cries to God. We could be going through a difficult struggle and not feeling very spiritual.
We may not even be able to muster the strength to pray for half an hour. Our prayers may be a pitiful series of short phrases such as, “Help me, God!” or “Lord, I don’t know how much longer I can hold on.”
But, according to the Bible, these kinds of prayers are powerful. All you have to do is read the psalms of King David to know that God hears prayers such as: “O Lord my God, I cried to you for help” (Ps. 30:2).
And what is so comforting is that when we feel frustrated in prayer or don’t know what to say, the Holy Spirit prays at a deeper level inside us—and He knows what to pray! That is the promise of Romans 8:26.
Many of us are at the most intense stage of the birth process, the transition phase. Childbirth is the time when a pregnant woman feels confused, irritable, and restless. We endure similar feelings of desperation in our walk of faith. We ask ourselves, “Did God really promise me that?” Everything inside us wants to quit believing.
This is how the travailing process works—and we have the Holy Spirit to help us through the pain. He prays with groanings too deep for words until faith gives birth to the answer we are waiting for.
O Lord my God, I cried unto thee, and thou hast healed me.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.