Our Helper in Prayer

Bible Book: Romans  8 : 26-27
Subject: Prayer, Help in

Introduction: God has given many gifts and privileges to His people. One of these is prayer. Most of us feel guilty because of our lack of prayer or by our inability to pray the way we think we should. The good news is that we have the Holy Spirit to help us pray.

I. Our Inadequacy in Praying

A. Our Common Possession.

If you are saved, you have the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in your life. He is a gift from God. Paul stated in Romans 8:9 "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." The Holy Spirit ministers to the saints of God in many different ways. One of these ways is in our prayer life.

B. Our Common Problem.

Have you ever had a crisis or some painful experience that left you numb and dumb when it came to prayer? Praying can be difficult at times. In some instances, prayer can be almost impossible.

The word "infirmities" means weakness. It refers to those moments in life when we are physically, mentally, emotionally, and/or spiritually exhausted.

Notice how Paul included himself with the rest of us who have problems in knowing God's will and in how we should pray at times. "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought" reveals our weakness due to our lack of understanding about how we should pray.

We are limited and often ignorant of the will of God. We lack understanding. We struggle in times of prayer wondering how to pray for a sick friend or family member. We may be overcome with grief or possibly some personal problem that hinders us from praying.

Hudson Taylor said: “All God’s giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them.”

II. Our Intercessor in Praying

A. Aid in Prayer.

Jesus said, "for without me ye can do nothing." (John 15:5) That is why Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is essential. He is the source of spiritual power, provision and protection for the Christian.

The Holy Spirit is our intercessor and helper in prayer. Sometimes we are burdened and in some cases broken. The Holy Spirit is in our life to comfort and to help carry our load. The word "helpeth" refers to a person coming alongside another to take part of a heavy load and help him bear it. Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Comforter in John 15:26. The meaning of Comforter is one called alongside to help, to assist. The phrase the “Holy Spirit Himself maketh intercession for us” is in the present tense. This means the Holy Spirit is constantly interceding for us.

The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit make up the Godhead. The Father searches the hearts of the saints. Jesus (Rom. 8:34) and the Holy Spirit make intercessions for the saints. Therefore, they are in perfect agreement regarding what is best for the saints.

The Holy Spirit intercedes for us “according to the will of God.” The Holy Spirit knows what we need even when we are not able to verbalize it or to even know what we need.

The great Greek Scholar A. T. Robertson said: "The Holy Spirit lays hold of our weaknesses along with us and carries His part of the burden facing us as if two men were carrying a log, one at each end."

B. Answer to Prayer

When we are so broken and burdened, we cannot pray; however, the Holy Spirit "maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." He prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

We can be assured that those prayers will be answered because the Father's will and the Spirit's will are one and the same.

III. Our Instruction in Praying

A. Pray in the Spirit. (Jude 20)

We are told in Jude 20: "But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost."

The Holy Spirit indwells every person at the moment of salvation. The Bible commands us to be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18) A Spirit filled Christian is someone who is submissive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. A Spirit-filled Christian isn't motivated by his own fleshly desires but with the desire to glorify the Father and the Son. (John 14:13; 16:14) Paul stated in Galatians 5:16: "This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh." It is the Holy Spirit who gives the Christian the victory over the old fleshly nature.

In Colossians 3:16, Paul wrote that the Christian is to "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly." A Christian can be filled with the Spirit only when he is submissive to the Word of God.

When the Christian is filled with the Spirit and Word of God, he can pray in the Spirit.

"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;" (Ephesians 6:17-18)

Jesus said it this way, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you." (John 15:7)

Faith comes from hearing and believing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17; John 12:48) God will only answer prayers that are prayed in faith. We can have confidence when we pray according to the will of God.

Most of God's will for our lives is revealed in the Bible. That is why we must allow the Word of God to dwell in us richly. (Colossian 3:16) As we allow the Holy Spirit to change our lives and the way we think, we can "prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." (Romans 12:2) It is then we can pray according to the will of God.

"And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." (1 John 5:14-15)

B. Pray in Submission.

Jesus knew the Father's will before He went to the cross. In the garden, Jesus prayed "Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42) Submission to God is necessary regardless of how He answers our prayers. We can submit to Him and trust in Him because of His holy character.

John wrote that we can have confidence in God. The Lord will answer our prayers when we pray according to His will. In much of our praying, we are concerned with our will and not His will. Sometimes, we pray in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. James wrote in 4:1-3 that when we pray according to the lust of the flesh, we ask amiss.

There are times when we try to pray with unconfessed sin in our lives. "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" (Psalm 66:18)

When we waver in our faith, we will not have our prayers answered according to James 1:5-7.

Sometimes we may ask of God something that is good, but it is not His will. In 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, Paul prayed three times for his thorn to be removed. Paul's request seemed to have been good; however, God refused to answer those prayers because He had a purpose for Paul's thorn in the flesh. God used it to keep Paul humble. Paul learned that God's grace is sufficient and His will was best for him. Trusting God is accepting His answer. We may never understand His refusal to answer, but we can trust His heart and His ways. The person who knows God will trust God with all his heart.

John Phillips wrote: "Trust is the key word. Our God is utterly dependable. His character makes it impossible for Him to lie. His wisdom is so great He can never make a mistake. Our God can be trusted. He has high and holy purposes and no ulterior motives. His love is so limitless He can never be unkind. Yet perfect love is always balanced by absolute holiness."

The person who knows God in such a fashion will have no problem trusting and submitting to the Lord with all his heart. He knows that all things work together for good to them that love God. (Romans 8:28) He knows God's eternal purpose is to conform His children to the image of His Son. (Romans 8:29) He knows God's purpose is a finished work in his life. (Romans 8:30)

How do we pray when we don't know the will of God? We commit ourselves to God and pray for His will to be done. We trust Him. We trust the Lord with our lives believing He will never leave us nor forsake us. "Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil." (Proverbs 3:5-7) When we truly trust in the Lord, He shall direct our paths.

When we don't know God's will, we can ask for Him to answer our prayers in the way that brings the greatest glory to Him. Whatever brings the greatest glory to Him will be what is best for us. True prayer is the bending of our own wills to the will of God. Prayer is not about us changing God’s mind, but about us submitting to His will.

Adrian Rogers: "God’s plan is not to make us healthy, wealthy, and happy; His plan is to conform us into the image of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. We may ask for one thing, but the Holy Spirit of God gives us another in order to make us more and more like Jesus. Prayer is God’s plan to make us like Jesus."


The Holy Spirit leads us to pray. He prays for us when we are unable to pray. His prayers are effective. We are to be filled with the Spirit and depend upon Him continually. The lost do not have the Holy Spirit. Only those who have turned to Jesus in faith and repentance have the Holy Spirit. Are you saved?