About Us Services MinistriesSermon Message Bible StudyChurch Calendar Contact Us


Statement of Faith

The Four Most Important Things We Could Ever Tell You

Listen to this week's message!

Map to the Church

Prayer Requests

Enhance your daily reading of God's word. Click here for free, printable Bible Reading and Prayer Journal sheets!

Bible Study Archives


"Our Divine Partner in Prayer"
Romans 8:26-27

Wednesday Evening Home Bible Study
May 26, 2004

Theme: The Holy Spirit helps us because of our weakness in prayer

Romans 8 highlights the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It's by the Holy Spirit that we are now to walk in life (vv. 1-11). And it is by the Holy Spirit that God communicates to our hearts that we are His children (vv. 12-17). Verses 18-25 expand on the fact that we have hope as children of God even during a time of suffering. And now, in verses 26-27, the ministry of the Holy Spirit toward us is picked up by Paul again. Just as the Holy Spirit communicates to us, He also helps us in our communication to the Father - hence, Paul begins by saying, "Likewise . . ." (v. 26).

The Holy Spirit is here being presented as our divine "partner in prayer". He "helps" us (sunatilambanomai; "to come to the aid") in our prayers because of our "weakness". Three Greek words for prayer are found in these two verses:

1. proseuchõmai - to "pray" (v. 26). This is the normal word for prayer. We don't know what we should pray for as we ought.

2. huperentugchanõ - to "intercede" (v. 26). This is a word that emphasizes what is done for another. The Holy Spirit, because of our weakness, "intercedes" on our behalf.

3. entugchanõ - to "approach" or "appeal" or "petition" (cf. Romans 8:34; Heb. 7:25). (Note how this word is similar to the word huperentugchanõ; except that it doesn't have the prepositional prefix huper, which means "in behalf of".) We can be assured of God's reception of the Holy Spirit's intercession for us, because He "makes intercession" or "petitions" for the saints in a way that is in full accordance with the Father's will.

What a wonderful gift God has given us in the Person of His indwelling Holy Spirit. He helps us to live a life that pleases the Father in many ways; but here we see that He helps us in our weakness in prayer.

A. We desperately need help in prayer (proseuchõmai); because we don't know how to pray as we should:
1. We fail to approach God in the proper reverence (1 Tim. 6:16)

2. We don't know the future (James 4:13-15).

3. We don't know what's best to ask (2 Cor. 12:8-9).

4. We pray with impure motives (James 4:3).

5. We ask in an impatient or inpersistant manner (Matthew 26:40; Luke 18:1).

6. We often lack faith in our asking (Mark 4:40).

7. We ask without understanding God's will correctly (1 John 5:14-15).

B. For this reason, the Holy Spirit makes "intercession" (huperentugchanõ) for us. He steps in and helps our weakness.

1. He Himself helps us. He doesn't sit up in heaven wondering what we're talking about, or why we can't seem to get it right. Our prayers are so important to the Father that the Holy Spirit is sent to take residence in us and insure the success of our prayers.

2. He Himself intercedes for us as the deepest possible level - communicating, as it where, that which we can't communicate with words. He intercedes with groanings which cannot be uttered (literally, "wordless groanings"). We are limited in what we can pray by the liabilities of human speech. But the Spirit expresses our afflictions and heartfelt longings to the Father in ways that words could never sufficiently express.


A. The Spirit's intercession for us is fully comprehended by the Father. The Father sees not as men see, and judges not as men judge (1 Sam. 16:7; Jer. 17:10; Heb. 4:13). And so, if the Father, who searches men's hearts, knows what goes on in the mind of His creatures, He surely knows the mind of the Spirit. We can be sure that the "inexpressable groanings" of the Spirit on our behalf are fully perceived and comprehended by the Father.

B. The Spirit's intercession for us is always in full accord with the Father's will. We often pray in ways that are out of line with God's will; but this is never true of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10-11). We can be sure that the Spirit's intercession for us will always be answered, because He intercedes for us in perfect conformity to what God already purposes to do.

C. The Spirit's intercession is for "the saints". He doesn't pray for just you or me. He prays with a mind to the plurality of God's people. He will never intercede for me in a way that harms you, and He will never intercede for you in a way that harms me. His intercession takes all of His saints into full account with absolute perfection. His prayers always have the whole body of Christ in view.

* * * * * * * * * *

Think of how this motivates us to pray. It gives us confidence, because we know that no matter how imperfect my prayers are, they are made effective by the Spirit. It reveals how much God values our prayers, because He sends His own Holy Spirit to intercede for us. What's more, it shows that we have two divine Persons interceding for us; because Jesus Himself also intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father (v. 34). One divine Person intercedes for us at God's right hand in heaven, and another intercedes for us while indwelling us on earth!! How this should encourage us to pray!!

Printable Version

Bethany Bible Church, 18245 NW Germantown Road, Portland, OR 97231 / 503.645.1436

Site Map | Privacy Policy | Copyright Information