The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray

Not only does the Spirit help us to pray he makes intercession for us according to the will of God. He helps us pray as we should pray with groaning that can not be uttered. God searches the hearts and knows the mind of the Spirit.

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. 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. (Rom 8:26-27)

There is quite a lot of information packed into one verse of scripture so let’s explore them by itemizing each one of them.



Helps Our Infirmities

This has both a physical and spiritual meaning. Infirmities means want of strength, weakness, feebleness, the feebleness of health, and sickness.

  • So spiritually the Spirit helps our want of strength, feebleness, and weakness.
  • While physically the Spirit helps our feebleness of health and sickness.

I always knew the word meant weaknesses and just assumed it was dealing with our struggle to be good but it goes much deeper than that and to see it also ties in with our physical weakness as well is a real eye-opener.

We Know Not What We Should Pray for as We Ought

We might think we know how to pray but do we really pray as we ought? I believe the Bible and it says we don’t and that we need help. Of course, that help is from the Spirit.

Infographic - Prays as we ought

Here is a list of things Jesus said about praying as we ought:

Pray for Them Which Despitefully Use You, and Persecute You (Mat 5:44)

Hmmm… I’m guessing this isn’t on top of most people’s list of things to pray about when they hit their knees. Most prayers are full of “I wants”… I want this… I want that… God help me to do this… God help me get that…. me, me, and more me.

But Jesus tells us to pray for enemies and their needs. Ouch!

Pray to Thy Father Which Is in Secret (Mat 6:6)

When Thou Prayest, Enter into Thy Closet, and When Thou Hast Shut Thy Door, Pray to Thy Father Which Is in Secret… Yep, no show-offs allowed. If you really want to pray as you ought it is in secret.

Not for public display, no bragging rights, no pious retention. God likes it real. And if you are real and seek God privately he will reward you openly…  and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Don’t Use Vain Repetitions (Mat 6:7)

…as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. It is not how often you recite a prayer, it is not about how long the prayer is, it is sincere prayer. I have said it before, I don’t understand how people recite prayers over and over again that someone else has written down in a book.

Yes… some of them have their place in a public worship gathering but when you are praying to God pray sincerely from your heart in your own words and thoughts. Along with praying in tongues.

If the only words you spoke to your spouse, children, or friends were words someone else wrote from a cold repetitious book how do you think those relationships would work out? Let your prayers be earnest, sincere, and from the heart.

After this manner, therefore, pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. (Mat 6:9-15)

Jesus just said do not use vain repetitions and what do people do with the Lord’s Prayer? That’s right… repeat it over and over in vain repetition. He said after this manner. Have these things in mind. Here are some things we should pray for as we ought.

Pray For Revival

Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Mat 9:38)

Pray That Ye Enter Not Into Temptation

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Mat 26:41)

Believe That What You Ask You Will Receive

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. (Mark 11:24)

Receive means… to take. 

  • to claim, procure, for one’s self
  • to take a thing due, to collect, gather

Pray Always

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint… (Luk 18:1-8)

Pray without ceasing. (1Th 5:17)

Pray That You May Interpret

Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. (1Co 14:13)

Pray Without Wrath & Doubting

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1Ti 2:8)

Pray When You Are Afflicted

Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. (Jas 5:13)

Pray For The Sick

Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: (Jas 5:14)

Pray For One Another

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (Jas 5:16)



The Spirit Itself Maketh Intercession for Us with Groanings Which Cannot Be Uttered

Interestingly the word groaning is only used twice in the New Testament – once in Roms 8:26 and the other here…

I have seen, I have seen the affliction of my people which is in Egypt, and I have heard their groaning, and am come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send thee into Egypt. (Act 7:34)

Wow! The Spirit itself makes intercession for us. That is such a huge statement and ties in with God hearing the affliction of the Israelites in Egypt and God saying… I have heard their groanings.

If God heard their groaning how much more will hear the Spirit making intercession for us with groanings that can not be uttered?

Infographic - Exodus groanings comparison

He That Searches the Hearts Knows What Is the Mind of the Spirit

God searches the hearts and he knows what is the mind of the Spirit. Do you comprehend this? The Spirit is within us. The Spirit makes intercession for us with groaning that can not be uttered. And God knows the mind of the Spirit.

No wonder Jesus said… your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before ye ask him. (Mt 6:8)



Because He Makes Intercession for the Saints According to the Will of God

Oh… just as you thought it couldn’t get any better. Not only does the Spirit make intercession for us. He does so according to the will of God.

Prayer In Tongues

For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also. 1Co 14:14-15

When you pray in tongues your spirit prays. You are going beyond your flesh. Your spirit prays. Your very essence. Your innermost being. The real you. Your body of flesh is just the house your spirit lives in. (2Co 5:1)

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost. (Jde 1:20)

This is real prayer. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with understanding also.

You may also be interested in… What Does It Mean To Pray In Tongues? and The Best Bible Verses About Praying For Others (And The Benefits)

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Allan Wilson is the creator of the Scriptural Thinking Affirmations Package. Featuring over 200 minutes of mp3 audio Bible affirmations complete with background music. The package comes with the original affirmations PDF ebook and many bonus affirmation Bible studies as well. The affirmations are designed to help you call to remembrance all of the wonderful benefits of being in Christ and the marvelous privilege of being a child of God.

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