December 2, 2012 – Pastor Tim – “Beyond the Upper Room” – Click to download
Romans 8:26-27 (KJV), “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.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
Notice that phrase “helpeth our infirmaties” in verse 26. Often people misunderstand the meaning of this word “Infirmities,” thinking that it always mends physical sickness or disease. But the word “infirmities” in this case is used in connection with our shortcomings. And one of our infirmities is found in the next phrase, “For we know not what we should pray for as we ought.” Our prayer “weakness” is that we don’t always know what we should pray about.
Sometimes to understand what someone said, you first have to find out what he didn’t say. Notice, Paul didn’t say we don’t know how to pray. We do know how to pray. How do we know? Well, we know we are to pray to the Father in the Name of Jesus because that’s what Jesus himself taught us.
John 16:23, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.
We know we are to pray to God the Father in Jesus’ Name. But just because we know how to pray doesn’t mean we know what to pray for, or as we ought (should) pray. Although we do know to some extent what to pray at times, we might not see the big picture or the details needed in our prayers.
Why not? Because there is no way in our natural world for us to know all there is to know about a given situation. We can only observe circumstances from the natural standpoint. Even those people we pray for may not know exactly what to pray for their needs!
We don’t always know what to pray for yourselves. Of course, if we’re hungry, we need to pray for something to eat. If we’re behind on paying our rent, we know to pray for our finances. But we don’t know the future. Sometimes we don’t even know the underlying conditions that are causing our problems. And unless God shows us, we can’t see into the spirit world and observe the activity of demons that may be trying to come against us.
Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
There are evil powers behind the scenes, trying to work against us. So in order to be effective, we have to deal with those unseen forces in prayer.
These are some of the reasons why we don’t know what to pray for as we should. For example, we may know something about a trial a fellow Christian is going through, and we may know how to pray that God would bless and help that person. Beyond that, however, we may not really know exactly how to pray about the matter according to God’s perfect will. But thank God, the Holy Spirit does.
One of the reasons praying in tongues is of such value to believers is because we are praying in line with God’s perfect will when we pray in tongues. The Holy Spirit not only knows what God’s will is, but He will also never lead us away from the Word. That means as we yield to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to help us pray, He will always lead us in line with what God has said.
Again, our prayer “weakness” is that we don’t always know what we should pray about!
Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to be our Helper. John 14:16, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—“ This word Helper is translated from the Greek word paraclete. The Amplified Bible gives a seven-fold meaning to the word:
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As our helper, the Holy Spirit will help us pray through to victory as we pray in tongues. He will do the job through us, but He won’t do the job for us.
Nowhere in the Bible do you ever find the Holy Spirit doing anything apart from people. For example, you never read in the Book of Acts where the Holy Spirit meets someone on the street and saves them, heals them, or fills them. However, you do read where men, full of the Holy Spirit, preached the Gospel and people were saved—and where You also read where people were healed through the ministry of Spirit-filled believers who allowed the Holy Spirit to work through them. So in your life as a Christian, expect the Holy Spirit to help you, but don’t expect Him to live for you.
Let’s train ourselves to be sensitive to the Spirit of God!! Then, when things arise that we’re ignorant about, we can say, “Holy Spirit, I don’t know what I should pray regarding this situation, but Holy Spirit, You do, so please help me pray.” And He will be faithful to do just that!!