The Spirit Intercedes


I imagine you have had a time or two in your life when you didn’t know how or what to pray. You looked at possible outcomes to a situation or to a need and didn’t know what to say to God, what to ask. For instance, do you pray for deliverance from a difficult circumstance, or do you pray for strength to bear it? Realizing that God’s will may be either of those situations, we can struggle with how to pray specifically. The more we think about prayer, the more we realize there may be several outcomes that could be God’s will. Romans 8 can help with this dilemma.

  • When was the last time you didn’t know what to pray?


26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What is the “weakness” referenced in verse 26? And what is the solution to our limitation?
  2. How does the Spirit intercede for believers (vss. 26-27)?
  3. On whose behalf is God working (vs. 28)?
  4. How does God want us to be conformed (vs. 29)?
  5. How are these verses an encouragement to you today?


Romans 8 explains that the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf when we don’t know how to pray. Since the Holy Spirit and the Father are one, the Holy Spirit knows the will of the Father and how to intercede for us even when we are weak and don’t know God’s will. Verse 28 is one of the most loved verses in Scripture. John Stott calls it a pillow on which to lay our weary heads. The good that God is working is not in circumstances, but in conforming us to the image of his Son. Suffering and joy are very different life circumstances, but both can help us become like Jesus as God does his good work in us.

  • Thank God that the Holy Spirit lives in you and intercedes for you.
  • Ask the Lord to continue his good work in you and to make you more like Jesus.