We Know Not What We Should Pray For

We Know Not What We Should Pray For

Romans 8:26
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.

Romans 8:27
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.

According to God, we do not know what to pray for. We are commanded to pray to God, both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. God says that we must pray to Him, but these prayers are not necessarily in the will of God.

What is it we are praying for?

We pray for safe travel, we pray for a speedy recovery from a particular disease, we pray for God’s blessings on our meals, we pray that our church may grow, etc.

Are these not good prayers?

Yes, these are fine prayers, but we do not know the decree of God for all these things we are asking. It may not be in God’s plan that we have a safe trip; it may not be in God’s plan to give us a speedy recovery; it may not be in God’s plan to give us health through what we are eating; it may not be in God’s plan to make our church grow in numbers, and so on.

Why then should we pray?

We pray because God has commanded us to pray. We are not trying to manipulate God, but through our prayers we are asking God to change us, so that we will have the strength to go through these trials without blaming God. We must see these two verses in the context in which they are found. Verse 26 begins with the word “Likewise”. The context is that the whole creation groans and travails, eagerly waiting for the glorious appearance of Christ and the saints on the Last Day. Until that time God takes this world through events that may also bring much suffering to the saints. God does not like to put us through suffering, but when it occurs, remember that it was necessary in God’s plan. Paraphrased God says, Likewise, when we go in this life through trials and temptations that are necessary according to the plan of God, then Likewise God the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses. God the Holy Spirit is our Advocate here on earth, while Christ is our Advocate in heaven. He pleads our case on behalf of us with groanings that cannot be uttered. The Spirit brings us more grace and comforts us and shows us in the Scriptures how we can look forward to a glorious ending. And God, who knows our hearts, also knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit transforms our prayers into perfect prayers that are in the will of God. In this way, that:

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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