This is one of my favorite passages in scripture. Actually, from here all the way on down to the end of the chapter is one of my favorite passages in scripture. Why? Because it’s a passage of hope.
Many people quote verse 28,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
But many people miss just why it is that God can work for the good of those who love him. In verses 26-27, Paul writes,
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. (26-27)
So many times, when we pray, we don’t know what to pray for or even how to pray. Sometimes as we pray, we’re at an absolute loss for words, unable to even formulate a prayer. Other times, we pray, but we pray for the wrong things. As Jesus would put it, we think we’re praying for bread, but in reality we’re praying for a stone.
The good news is that God is not limited by our helplessness or our faulty prayers. The main thing he’s concerned with is that we’re connecting with him. And when we do, the Spirit intercedes for us. He takes our wordless groans and mistaken prayers and turns them into prayers that match God’s will for our lives. It is with that in mind, that Paul then says,
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (28)
I don’t know about you, but that’s encouraging to me.
When my daughter was a baby, it could get frustrating sometimes because she would cry and we couldn’t figure out why. Her cries and babbles couldn’t communicate to us what her true needs were and so we were left with no option but to guess what she needed. Sometimes we were right, but other times, our attempts to help were seriously lacking.
But the Spirit does know our needs despite our babbling and incoherent cries, and because of that, he can pray for us perfectly, providing the help we need.
Are you going through struggles and trials right now? Are you frustrated in your prayers, and feeling like they’re bouncing off the walls? Know that there is hope. Even now the Spirit is interceding for you, and he is praying for you according to God’s will. So take heart. He will work for your good.