Wednesday in the Seventeenth Week of Ordinary Time

Romans 8:26-28

Groaning Too Deep for Words

In the passage we read yesterday, we see the word “groan” or “groaning,” and this groaning is an expression of our desire to be released from our bondage to this world and experience “the redemption of our bodies” and the enjoyment of the world to come, where Christ is seated at the right hand of the Almighty.  It is there that our Savior graciously intercedes for us as our Advocate, the one who stands in our place as the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2).  Yesterday’s passage even spoke of the groaning of creation which was subjected to the curse because of our sin and also yearns for its own freedom from corruption.

Today we read of someone else who groans, and this on our behalf: “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 groaning too deep for words.”  We must confess that we need help when we pray.  Even upon telling us explicitly how to pray (Matthew 6:9-13), we still can’t do it right.  And this is because our hearts are never right, no matter how close to the Lord we may be at a particular time.  Furthermore, we are talking about talking to God; humility should compel us to acknowledge that we need help to pray for matters over which we know not one wit about.  And this is where the Holy Spirit makes his appearance.  There are many wonderful things that the Spirit does for us, but interceding for us while we pray must be one of the most blessed.  The Spirit groans within us putting into words what we never could, according to the will of God.  And if our prayers are ever effective, I must believe it is because of the Holy Spirit praying within us here and our Lord Jesus Christ interceding for us there.  Our words fall to the ground; God’s words endure forever.  So pray with all your might according to the will of God as you understand it through the Scriptures, but be reassured that though you may fail and do fail at this task of prayer, the Holy Spirit who prays within you never will.

Romans 8:28 is a most popular verse.  In the context of this passage, it reassures us that through the Spirit’s intercession, we shall only experience the good results of the accomplishment of His will in our lives; that is, that we be conformed to the image of His Son (8:29).  This is what happens to those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose; that is, those who have been born again.  Having come to know the Lord through rebirth in the Holy Spirit, God’s will for us is our sanctification (1 Thessalonians 4:3), our dying to self and being conformed to his image.

Author: The Reformed Baptist

My name is Stephen Taylor, ordained Baptist minister of eighteen years pastoral experience with a Ph.D. in Historical Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. Better than that, I am married to a godly woman, Karla, who has been very patient with me since 1989. I have two daughters, both of whom I homeschooled for extended periods of time, who became godly young women, and who ran off and married godly young men, all of which is very proper. The oldest daughter has even seen fit to bless me with a grandson and a granddaughter, and my youngest daughter with a grandson, all three of whom are bundles of exceeding joy. As you can see, I am quite blessed. This website is dedicated to helping people grow in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through the gift of writing that the Lord has given to me. It is specifically about helping His people grow in godliness, the theme you see repeated above. I write devotions with this aim and hope that they might be of some help to God’s people. Full disclosure: I am of a Reformed bent, meaning that my understanding of Scripture is primarily informed by the Reformers and their successors of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. However, as a student of church history and theology, I strive to remain true to that teaching handed down once for all unto the saints through every age of the Church. I like to think of myself as a “catholic” Christian, as the Reformers thought of themselves. At any rate, feel free to read, pray, and contact me if you wish, or correct me if need be. As you can see, I tend to follow the church year. Of course, I make no special claims about these devotions. I know very well that others have written better and plumbed the depths of God’s word with greater insight. But if my musings help someone draw closer to the Lord, well then, I have my reward. Blessings to you and may the God and Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ speak to you that word which He knows you especially need to hear. Grace & peace, Stephen Taylor

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