Today's Devotional: The Great Eight (Part 21)

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 groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27 ESV).

So, let’s wind up our look at these verses of our reading. Why does the Holy Spirit pray for us in this way? It certainly sounds strange to us: God praying to God according to the will of God. Wow, that stretches me enormously. However, the answer to this conundrum is very important. One of the greatest preachers and theologians of recent decades was Charles Spurgeon. Perhaps he has said it most concisely and best: “Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused.” I want to show you five statements that will both inform and encourage you in your prayer:

  • First, God created the universe and all that is in it to display the riches of the glory of his grace. God’s redemptive work is not to show His power and character as much as it is to pour out his mercy on those who have been chosen to be His children, “the vessels of mercy” (cf. Romans 9:23).
  • Second, this act of mercy is designed so that we may now act in a way that calls attention to the glory of God’s grace. Paul says, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31).
  • Third, the obedience and service of God’s people will glorify him most when they consciously and intentionally depend on him for the grace and power to do what they do. There really is no victory in self-sufficiency.
  • Fourth, prayer for God’s help is one way that God preserves and manifests the dependence of his people on his grace and power. The necessity of prayer is a constant reminder and display of our dependence on God for everything, so that he gets the glory when we get the help.
  • Fifth, when the Spirit inspires and directs the groanings in our hearts, the ultimate purpose of the universe happens: God gets the glory. The progression is simple: because God the Spirit creates the groanings in us, God gets the glory; because God the Father is the one who hears and performs what the Spirit asks, God gets glory; because God the Son purchased for sinners every blessing they ever receive, God gets glory. And this produces a conscious gratefulness in us.

 

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