In the same way, the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself intercedes with groans too deep for words, and the one who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints ac cording to God’s will.Romans 8:26-27
This is an interesting segment of Scripture. What is Paul meaning here? The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, He Himself intercedes for us, He searches our hearts and knows the mind of the Spirit. All according to God’s Word. And what does it mean to intercede for us with sighs and groans and deep longings. [with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance; prays for us in ways that cannot be put into words; inexpressible groanings, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans].
Paul tells us the Spirit helps us our weakness. He helps us when we pray. He intercedes through us and for us.
Sometimes translating a word just does not do justice to the text behind the scenes. Συναντιλαμβάνεται [sunantilambanetai] is one of those words. It is translated “help”. It is a compound made up of:
|with||for||take hold of|
|along with||in place of||bear|
|together with||remove (a load)|
Are you getting the idea? The one who comes alongside to help or to bear the load together on behalf of . . .
I am going to do something that I don’t normally do with Bible Gems, share my testimony for the purposes of explaining or exegeting the Word of Life. But in this case I am going to take a risk and make an exception. I am fully aware that this might mean some of you may not want to get Bible Gems anymore – but so be it. I have to be true to myself and to what happened. I write these things to help you, not to offend you. I know for some of you it will pigeon hole me and maybe you will not be able to cope with it but that is ok.
Many wonder what all this intercession and groaning means when it happens. Well this is my experience.
On June 8th, 1981 I was praying at the end of day with Tania. I had been reading a mission book called Bruchko and it had stirred my heart. That day I had been wondering if this was of God and “mission” was for us. We started praying. That night I started praying in my prayer language, in tongues. Sometimes I did that, sometimes I prayed in English. Well that Monday night it was like the Holy Spirit took over my prayer. Within seconds I was sitting on the bed, aware of what was happening but seemingly it was not me who was praying. It was the Holy Spirit. I suddenly started groaning, crying, sighing, moaning and uttering sounds from deep within. That kept going for maybe 10 minutes. Tania was sitting on the bed and wondering what had happened to her husband. This was very unusual. She probably thought she had a right to question my sanity.
At the end of the time I turned to Tania and said “God is leading us to the mission field, I know it.” Then my rational side kicked in. Do you have a spiritual side and a rational side like me? I know you do because you are body, soul and spirit. I found myself praying – “Lord confirm that this book is part of Your will for us.” I was sure something had just happened of a spiritual nature but I want confirmation of it. After praying I thought to myself, “Well that was a dumb thing to pray Ian. How is He going to confirm the book?” That was Monday night. Wednesday night I went off to cell group. At the end of the evening the woman of the house (Yvonne) asked to speak to me and said she had something to share with me that God had told her. She came out with a magazine turned to a book review of the book “Bruchko”. She said “Here Ian, God said to give this to you.”
Wow the Holy Spirit was sure working that Monday night in me and then some more in Yvonne on Wednesday as He spoke to her about showing me that page of the magazine. That’s what happened and so I share it to help peel back the meaning and the possibilities for you. I will share the second part of that story (Yvonne’s part) with you tomorrow again to give you insight into prayer and the Spirit’s leading and work within us. Unless I get hordes of protests that I am messing with the Bible Gems in a way you don’t like.
I deliberately told you the date; I remember it well, like it was yesterday. It is one of the moments, burned on my memory. But I also told you the date so you would be able to read between the lines and know that I had not experienced this before that date neither since. It has been a one-off experience.
Want to see a miracle? Plant a word of love heart-deep in a person’s life. Nurture it with a smile & prayer & watch what happens.Max Lucado