Late one Saturday afternoon, my family and I stopped at a local restaurant for lunch. As the waiter set crispy fries and thick burgers on our table, my husband glanced up and asked his name. Then he said, “We pray as a family before we eat. Is there something we can pray for you today?” Allen, whose name we now knew, looked at us with a mixture of surprise and anxiety. A short silence followed before he told us that he was sleeping on his friend’s couch each night, his car had just quit working, and he was broke.
As my husband quietly asked God to provide for Allen and show him His love, I thought about how our go-between prayer was similar to what happens when the Holy Spirit takes up our cause and connects us with God. In our moments of greatest need—when we realize we’re no match to handle life on our own, when we don’t know what to say to God, “The Spirit intercedes for God’s people” (Romans 8:27). What the Spirit says is a mystery, but we’re assured that it always fits with God’s will for our lives.
The next time you pray for God’s guidance, provision, and protection in someone else’s life, let that act of kindness remind you that your spiritual needs are also being lifted to God who knows your name and cares about your problems.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose.29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Is there anyone you can pray for today?
How might you respond to temptation differently if you knew that the Holy Spirit was praying for you during the struggle?
The terminology Paul uses in Romans 8:31–35are legal terms used in court. Words such as charge, justify, and condemn fit well into the passage where Paul discusses legalities, giving readers the image of a heavenly courtroom. Additionally, Paul explains that no one condemns believers in Christ (building on his statement in verse 1) because Jesus died for them and is now interceding on their behalf (v. 34). The wordinterceding has the idea of someone approaching a ruler in court on behalf of someone else, making petitions for them. It’s interesting to note that both Christ and the Holy Spirit do this for us (vv. 26–29, 34). Jesus, the one who could condemn believers, instead died and is now seated at the right hand of God on our behalf.
Jesus, I thank You that temptation has no power to separate me from You. Please give me victory today through the power of Your resurrection from the dead. In your Holy name, I pray. Amen!!