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. Romans 8:26
I loved becoming a mother. I remember from the very beginning how blessed I felt to be given the gift of a child. Not one, but two wonderful blessings.
It’s amazing how you can become so in tune with your infants and can usually know exactly what their needs are. But I can remember with such despair to this day, a few times when my little ones would cry uncontrollably for long periods of time, and I could not console them no matter what I did. I knew something was wrong, that something was hurting them, but I had no way of knowing what it was. I remember the horrible feeling of hopelessness, wanting to comfort their little bodies and make whatever discomfort or pain they were having go away, but all I could do was lovingly hold them in my arms and whisper soothing words until they were calm once again.
I am sure we, even as adults, have had these times when we had no words to express to God how we were feeling. But He knew before we were even created, that these times would come and that we would need more than our own weak faith and resolve to get us through painful situations. And like a loving, caring parent, He knew we would need His love and assurance to calm our anxious hearts.
Jesus, in trying to comfort His disciples and followers before His death and crucifixion, said these words, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” (John 14: 16)
Gratefully, when we accepted Him into our hearts, God sent this Spirit to live in each of us to give us His strength and comfort during these difficult times. God knows our pain and He understands our weaknesses and frailties. His “Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
In this sense, groaning means “begging with tears when there are no words, or a strong desire to express ourselves when we cannot speak.” When we are weak, His Spirit intercedes on our behalf to help us, and we become strong. This Spirit within us becomes the translator of the thoughts on our hearts and the unspoken pain and turmoil within us, and when we let His power flow through us, we are filled with His love, strength, and comfort to get us through these painful circumstances.
I am sure we all have known these times when we couldn’t call out to God. We just couldn’t find the words to pray or know what we should pray for. Sometimes our own feelings of helplessness as we watch a loved one in emotional or physical pain is just too great; we don’t know how to pray, and we just need to surrender to His will.
His Spirit will help us. It will get us through the difficult and painful situations and even after these times have passed, it will renew and reinvigorate our minds and bodies with an infusion of God’s love, hope, and peace.
What a loving Father who wants to comfort us with His mercy and grace.
Dear God, you know our needs before we even express them. Thank you for giving us your Spirit to comfort us and grant us your peace during times of sadness and despair, for you know and understand our weaknesses and the desires of our hearts for our loved ones. Amen