At the present time in our Wednesday evening Bible Class, we are studying regarding the Holy Spirit. On Dec. 6th we attempted to answer this question: “Who is the Holy Spirit?” Our topic on Dec. 13th was: “What is the work of the Holy Spirit?” In subsequent class periods, we intend to discuss: “The Role of the Holy Spirit in Conversion” and “The Gifts of the Holy Spirit.”
As we study what the Holy Scriptures teach concerning the Holy Spirit we can come to a degree of understanding, but since He is God there are some things that our finite minds will never be able to totally comprehend. In spite of this fact, it behooves us to prayerfully study that which has been revealed so that we may come to know and appreciate Him.
It is apparent that we are not alone in our interest in this topic of study. The article reproduced below was published last week in the bulletin of the Piedmont Road Church of Christ, located in Marietta, GA. Read it and rejoice.
The Holy Spirit Helps in Our Weaknesses
In Romans 8:26-27, the apostle Paul affirms: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Notice the following thoughts from these verses.
- The Holy Spirit helps. Vine says the word helps means “to take hold with at the side for assistance; to take a share in, to help in bearing, etc.” The word was used to describe one who helps another carry a heavy load. How thankful we should be that the Holy Spirit helps us carry the loads of life.
- The Holy Spirit helps in our weaknesses. Some translations have “infirmities,” but the word simply means areas where we are weak and lack strength. In context, the weakness is the difficulty of knowing how to pray in view of sufferings and trials. MacKnight says this difficulty stems from “being uncertain what is good for us.” It is good to know that God’s Spirit always knows what is best for us.
- The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Boles says these “groanings” are the deep needs of the human soul which man finds it difficult to articulate. These are our groanings, not the Spirit’s. The Spirit has no trouble putting his thoughts into Words to the Father, but we often do. What a blessing to have the Spirit help us in this form of communication.
We often struggle to put into words our concerns due to our afflictions, anxieties, griefs, etc. In this we are not alone. Hannah, “in bitterness of soul,” prayed and her lips moved, but no words came forth (I Sam. 1:9-13). Hezekiah said about talking to God: “Like a crane or swallow, so did I chatter…” (Isa. 38:14). David said, “I am so troubled that I cannot speak” (Ps. 77:4).
In times when the communication of our inner thoughts is so difficult, it is a blessing to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, helping us with our weaknesses. Though we may not know the manner of this phase of the Spirit’s work, we can rest assured that it is a fact. And, as the late evangelist Johnny Ramsey used to say, “I may not understand how the Spirit works in helping me in prayer, but I will take all the help I can get!”
If you have ever struggled in prayer, you know just what Brother Ramsey meant. Each of us should thank God for the blessing of the Holy Spirit’s work in our prayer lives.
--John B. Tracy