Summary: Where is the Lord Jesus right now? He is actually here in the person of the Spirit. He is interceding for me. He is interceding for you. The Bible says there is one mediator between God and man. Isn’t it good to know Jesus is praying for you?
There was a lady who had a female parrot and the only thing the parrot said was, “Let’s pray.” Well, the lady met a man at a parrot lover’s meeting and he had a male parrot who never said anything but “Let’s kiss.” Eventually the man and woman married. Not only was it the uniting of a man and a woman, it was also the uniting of two parrots. They put those two parrots in the same cage and the female parrot looked over and very demurely and piously said, “Let’s pray.” and the male parrot said, “Let’s kiss.” The female parrot said, “Praise God, my prayers have been answered!”
If you want to know how to get your prayers answered, one of the key ways is right here in Romans, chapter 8 beginning in verse 26. The Bible says, “In the same way.” You never start a passage of scripture with those words because that means it’s tied to something else. Remember a couple of weeks ago I said there are three mentions of the word “groan.” It talks about how creation is groaning and nature is groaning, because there is going to be a future renovation of all the heavens and earth. Then, right above this passage it talks about how we as Christians groan inwardly, because our physical bodies grow tired and they wear out and we’re looking forward to the redemption even of our bodies. Here’s the third example of groaning. “In 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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” This passage is all about how sometimes we are weak in prayer and the Holy Spirit helps us to pray–two sides of one coin. On one side we’re going to talk about how you and I have a weakness when we try to pray and on the other side of the coin is about how the Holy Spirit helps us to pray.
I. OUR PRAYERS ARE HINDERED BECAUSE OF OUR…
Our prayers are weak because of at least three reasons. Verse 26 says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness.” Perhaps the first song I ever learned as a Christian was “Jesus Loves Me.” Have you ever sung that song and thought it was only talking about little children? When it says, “little ones to him belong.” I don’t know about you folks, but when I think about the greatness of God, I am pretty little and you are too. Did you ever think that song was talking about little children when it said, “They are weak, but he is strong?” Wrong again because the Bible says we are all weak, and because we are weak in our prayer life, we need some help. So before you can ever get any help in your prayer life, you have to admit like this scripture says, “Hey, I am very weak when it comes to prayer.”
1. Failure to pray
There are at least three reasons we are weak. We are weak in prayer because of our failure to pray. Sometimes we just don’t pray. We often sing hymns and don’t even pay attention to the words. The Bible says in Jeremiah, 33. God says, “Call upon me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things that you did not know.” Can I ask you this question? Have you ever spent 15 minutes in prayer? Have you ever spent 30 minutes in prayer? Have you ever spent one hour in doing nothing but praying your entire life? Do you remember when Jesus was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane? He went to the disciples and asked them, “Can’t you watch and pray for one hour?” It would be a good idea if Jesus would come up to every one of us at one time or another and look us right in the eye and say, “Hey, can’t you pray for one hour?” When you really start examining how you spend you time, how you invest the 24 hours a day God has given every one of us, you realize you may not be spending very much of that time in prayer. Prayerlessness is not just an inconvenience. According to the Bible prayerlessness is a sin. Look at 1 Samuel 23:23. Samuel says, “As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” Prayerlessness is a sin. I will teach you the way that is good and that is right. One reason we are weak is simply because we fail to pray.