Chapter 8: Receiving Help When You Don’t Know How to Pray

01 Dec

Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words…”

Main Idea

In our weakness and human limitations, we don’t always know how to pray.

We often struggle with knowing what is best in a given situation. The Spirit of God helps us to pray. He who knows our hearts and the very mind of God, pleads the deep desires of our heart and helps us to pray according to the will of God.

In this chapter, we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is our helper and brings the longings of our hearts before the throne of God.

The author gives a story of a personal friend who visited a bitter old woman. She wanted nothing to do with the church. So, he offered to pray. His heart was so broken for her situation, that tears rolled down his cheeks and no words could come from his lips. He felt like an utter failure. However, in his weakness “he leaned upon the Spirit of God who poured out tears of compassion.”  It was his tears that began to turn the heart of this bitter old woman.

Often, it is in our weakness that we pray our best prayers.

My Story

I remember a time when one of my daughters was dating. She had two young men pursuing her for marriage. I did not know how to pray.

I specifically remember being in a food court at a local mall and crying out to God from the depths of my heart. “You know all things. You know all hearts, what do I pray?”

Then, as clear as day the thought came to me. Pray that she seeks Me and loves Me with her whole heart. If she loves Me, she will love what I love… and the right decision will be made clear. When I came home, I found her on the sofa in tears. She had her Bible opened and was holding a missionary biography that she was reading. She asked if she could get a hotel room for the night, so she could spend some time alone in prayer.

It been over five years, since she and her hubby have said “I do.” Each passing year gives testimony of what we did not know, but He did. She chose well. One of the greatest joys outside of bringing our children into the world is watching them continue in what they’ve been taught and delighting in the spouses God has seen fit to give them.


Are you in a situation where you do not know how to pray? Ask God to help you pray and listen.


Sometimes what appears to be right at the moment, is not always the best. We need God’s help when we pray.

Is there a longing in your heart that is not being answered? Could it be that God is desiring to grant you an even deeper longing and desire of your heart?

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Posted by on December 1, 2012 in Book Study, Prayer


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