The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray

Romans 8:26,27


Pastor Craig Ledbetter

26 September, 2010   AM

Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland


I.                   Introduction (Romans 8:26)


A.     Let’s be honest…


1.      We don’t know how to pray

2.      We don’t know what to pray about

3.      AND, we don’t know how to wait on the Lord for what we have prayed

4.      We are a mess, spiritually!


B.     So, God gave us the Bible, to show us how to pray


1.      Jesus prays 15 times in the pages of the New Testament

2.      Paul prays dozens of times, as does Peter, and all believers. The Bible Commentator Matthew Henry said this, "You may as soon find a living man that does not breath, as a living Christian that does not pray." 

3.      There are some 650 prayers in the Bible and over 450 recorded answers to prayer in the Bible, according to Dr. Herbert Lockyer who wrote All The Prayers of The Bible.


C.     But God did not stop there, He gave us His Holy Spirit!


1.      What a stranger to the modern Christian is the Person and work of the Holy Spirit! He is the most ignored Person today!

2.      Oh yes, people “believe” in the Holy Spirit, but they only do in word only – they don’t seek to understand Him, and lean upon Him

3.      In every prayer you pray, the triune God has a part – praise God!


a.       The Father hears us pray and with all power, supplies our deepest need

b.      The Son purchased the authority for us to pray simply “in His name!” We don’t have to work to earn the answers to our prayers – all we have to do is ASK “in His name!”

c.       And the Holy Spirit prays IN us, and for us. What a wonderful truth that is almost unknown today!


4.      How important it is that we should be in right relationship to the Holy Spirit and understand His work in prayer! Without Him, our prayers are dead, useless, and only vain repetitions!


D.     So, this morning, I want us to learn to LET God’s Holy Spirit HELP us to pray


II.    Background


A.     The Holy Spirit is IN the Believer (Rom 8:9)


1.      The Holy Spirit indwells the Christian (1Cor 6:19). He is in you, and He is there for a purpose

2.      He came to help you:


a.       To make sure that you get to heaven. If He wasn’t sealed in you, then you could lose your relationship to God!

b.      To make sure you have enough strength for each day and each trial

c.       AND, to make sure you get heard in heaven when you pray!


3.      He got in when you invited Jesus Christ in (Rev 3:20)


a.       He is not in everyone! Don’t make the mistake thinking the Holy Spirit is just in everybody – He has to be welcomed in with Jesus Christ

b.      Most people only allow religion into their lives

c.       God wants us to allow HIMSELF into our very hearts!

d.      When you surrendered your sins into His hands, AND your life, you exchanged the wages of sin, for the GIFT of eternal life (Rom 6:23)

e.       That’s when you got the Holy Spirit of God! He came as part of the package deal!


4.      The Holy Spirit is just as real as Jesus Christ!


a.       The Holy Spirit is a Person – not a force, but the third Person of GOD Almighty.

b.      The Holy Spirit is how Jesus manifests Himself in you. He actively reveals Jesus to you through the pages of Scripture (John 14:26) – don’t neglect this BOOK!

c.       The Holy Spirit provides you with a whole new life, more abundant than anything this life could ever offer (Gal 6:8). He helps you have a full life, & enjoy eternal life now!


B.     The Holy Spirit is VERY Powerful (Romans 8:10,11)


1.      Even though the Holy Spirit is the quietest Person of the Trinity (He speaks with a whisper), He is the power behind every thing that works – that is alive – that produces fruit!


a.       Example: We may have wires, and power point sockets, and appliances and transformers and lights, and switches and fuses all throughout our houses – but without electricity, they are altogether, only worthless scrap!

b.      So are all our prayers, and efforts, and Bible reading, and preaching, and soul-winning, and giving, and ministry – if they are done without the power of the Holy Spirit!!!


2.      He (the Spirit) is LIFE itself. He will resurrect your mortal body one day – that is amazing! From dust, back to a never dying body

3.      Every Christian in here better sit up and pay very close attention:


a.       The Holy Spirit is what will activate your prayer life, and enable you to get what you need on a moment by moment basis

b.      He is able to not only help you move mountains, but also to move the heart of God toward your need!


4.      So! The source of power in the life of the Christian is the same that raised up Jesus from the dead (Philp 3:10). So, there is NO limit to what God and you can do together (Philp 4:13), when you pray!

5.      So, every Christian ought to use the Holy Spirit to pray through your troubles and battles - use Him!


C.     The Holy Spirit Leads Every Believer (8:14) – He actively guides and directs your life, every step


1.      It is that “leading” of God’s Spirit that demonstrates (confirms) our relationship with Christ! One of the proofs that someone is a child of God is the fact that they admit that God is pushing/pulling them into His will! If God is leaving you alone, and letting you just live your own way, then YOU AIN’T in God’s family!!!

2.      God leads His people to pray - urges us when to pray, and why pray, and what to pray for!

3.      If He is not leading you to walk with God, and to cast all your care upon Him, and to rely on Him to get your needs, then you don’t belong to Him yet!

4.      It is important to not quench the work of the Spirit (1Thes 5:19) as he attempts to LEAD you – by ignoring His whispers, by drowning out His urgings, by rejecting His guidance

5.      There is no one more miserable than a Christian resisting the work of the Holy Spirit!


D.     The Holy Spirit Brings Us Close to God (8:15,16)


1.      Through the new birth!

2.      The relationship you have is good enough that you can relate to God as ABBA, (Hebrew) “DADDY!” not just “Father”!

3.      We don’t cry “Our Father...” but DADDY!

4.      And we don’t cry “Our Lady”

5.      We cry “Abba” Daddy, Father – just as Jesus did in Mark 14:36

6.      A born again person is a child of almighty God, accepted in the beloved!

7.      Don’t forget that He helps us deal with sin in our lives (8:13) God is holy, so the HOLY Spirit works hard at helping us stay clean in our heart!


E.      But all of that is for ONE GREAT PURPOSE in our lives – so that we can pray!


III. Message - The Holy Spirit Leads Us to Pray (Rom 8:26-28)


A.     All Creation is waiting for the Second Coming of Christ (8:18-22)


1.      Right now, everything is cursed - everything! Everything dies/struggles/fights! Everything is messed-up: hurricanes, earthquakes, mass-murders, the Middle East, road accidents (Job 5:7). Darwin and his survival of the fittest was not evolution, but the curse!

2.      Everything in this universe has been made subject to vanity (self-centred) by the fall of Adam. But God has the thing worked out so that we have hope - we have something to look forward to - a SURE hope

3.      Everything is groaning and travailing for something better - like a woman in childbirth - a very long childbirth


a.       That is all politicians talk about - a better day

b.      Positive thinking - look on the bright side

c.       Problem is: they all think they can do it without Christ coming back!

d.      Everything is waiting for the day when Christians (“the sons of God”) are clearly manifested - when that which is in me, is apparent (8:18) - at the second coming


4.      Until Jesus comes back, we are going to have to live in the power of prayer


a.       One day, Jesus will be back here in person, and will make everything right, everything beautiful

b.      But until then, we can make it through the dark valleys, through the trials, through the defeats, by the help of the Holy Spirit AS WE PRAY!


B.     The Holy Spirit Makes Up for what You Cannot do as a Christian (8:26-27; John 15:5) - He is on your side - use Him!!! Or better yet, let Him use you!


1.      The Reality


a.       We are WEAK – don’t fool yourself! Look at what you do to cope!

b.      We Don’t Know HOW to Pray

c.       We don’t even know WHAT to pray for

d.      So the Holy Spirit helps us – He makes up for our lack of ability!


2.      He Helps Us When we are weak - plagued with infirmities (2Cor 12:10).


a.       Notice the Spirit “helpeth” our infirmities – He doesn’t promise to heal them! Take a good look at that! But he promises to help you through each day – to carry you

b.      Infirmities are meant by Satan to keep us FROM praying – make you mad at God, or give up on God

c.       But, Infirmities are allowed by God to keep us humble and dependent on Him

d.      So allow God’s Holy Spirit to be your strength, as you pray!


3.      He Helps Us When we pray. When you don't even know how to pray or what to pray, He is at work, on the job doing THREE very important things: translating, interceding, comforting!


a.       He teaches us to REALLY pray


1)      Twice there is a remarkable reference to the Holy Spirit in the matter of prayer.


a)       'Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father' (Rom. 8.15).

b)       'God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father' (Gal. 4.6).

2)       Have you ever meditated on these words: 'Abba, Father'?

3)       The Holy Spirit is given to us for the express purpose of teaching us, from the very beginning of our Christian life onward, to utter that word in childlike trust and surrender.

4)       In one passage we read: 'We cry'; in the other: 'He cries.' What a wonderful blending of the divine and human cooperation in prayer. What a proof that God has done his utmost to make prayer as natural and powerful as though it were the cry of a child to an earthly father, as he says: 'Abba, Father'.


b.      He groans when we groan (8:26)


1)      Groanings - heartbreaks, disappointments, troubles (Ro 8:26,22,23; Ps 6:6; Lk 22:44; 2Cor 5:1-4)

2)      The Spirit translates what you mean when you cannot speak

3)      NOT with tongues

4)      But with a translation of what we mean!


a)      I don’t know what I need, so the Holy Spirit expresses my need

b)      I don’t know WHAT to say, so the Holy Spirit uses words that make sense

c)      I don’t know what to pray for, so the Holy Spirit guides my thoughts, and helps me pray as I ought


c.       He intercedes with our best interests in mind


1)      God trusts His Spirit to tell Him what you need (Mt 6:8). Most of our prayers are not answered simply because we pray completely contrary to God’s will (8:27). Learn to listen to the Spirit of God in your life, and pray that way!

2)      He is the go-between, between you and the Father – handling the conversation

3)      Searches to find the will of God, to obtain God’s blessing (Ro 8:27)


d.      He Comforts


1)      This is the best part

2)      He has the job of not only carrying your requests to the Father all the way up in heaven

3)      But He comforts you and encourages you as you pray


e.       Did you know that the Holy Spirit directs all worship of God the Father? So, when you pray, you are literally just joining into that worship?!

f.       Oh don’t neglect to pray!!! Don’t miss out on experiencing the great joy of the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in your life AS YOU PRAY!


C.     HEY! Your BEST prayer partner is the Holy Spirit (1Cor 14:15)


1.      Folks, We are commanded to


a.       Worship God in spirit

b.      Walk in the Spirit

c.       Live in the Spirit


2.      It is all totally different than living naturally, in the flesh, in the desires of the flesh like we are used to doing!

3.      Well, it is also totally different to “pray with the Spirit,” than with just words

4.      Let’s start praying with the help of the Holy Spirit


IV.  Application - Believe He is at work when you pray, and let Him work AS YOU PRAY


A.     So, First Point - Let us firmly believe, as an absolute reality, that the Spirit of God's Son, the Holy Spirit, IS IN US! From the time we were born again!


1.      Do not imagine that you know this and have no need to believe it more it.

2.      A wife may go through her day unaware that she is pregnant, but the moment that the doctor says you are going to have a baby, she becomes KEENLY aware that a living being is in her, and that her life is going to be different now, and more blessed than ever imagined!

3.      Our heart is the Spirit’s temple! Oh that He would be allowed to rule both soul and body.

4.      I am so thankful to have God’s Spirit in me to teach me to pray.

5.      No wonder we have been prayerless, and powerless, and have felt this work too heavy for us, if we only have words of prayer, and not the Person of prayer in us!

6.      What a different life mine would be if I knew the Holy Spirit as the Spirit of prayer!


B.     Secondly, let us listen in on, and join in with the Holy Spirit as He draws us to worship the Father!


1.      It is the Holy Spirit that calls us to pray, and worship God

2.      When we get into the habit of quenching the Holy Spirit, we are missing the greatest moments of our lives, when we as sinful creatures, draw nigh unto God, and he draws nigh unto us!

3.      When you are praying, you are just joining into an already ongoing worship session in heaven!


C.     Thirdly, let us let Him, as 'the Spirit of holiness', teach us to recognise, and hate, and be done with sin. The more we believe God wants to answer our prayers, and meet our needs, the more we will be interested in getting rid of anything that would hinders those answers! What sins are you holding onto? What bad attitudes, bitter feelings, envies and jealousies are you claiming are your rights? They ONLY hurt you, and limit God’s help in your life!

D.     Lastly. Let’s yield to His gentle pulls! The Spirit desires to have full possession of our lives.


1.      The Holy Spirit wants more of me. The Spirit wants to possess me entirely, entirely under his control.

2.      Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be absolutely spiritually sensitive to the gently nudging, and leading of the Holy Spirit?


a.       When He urges you to pray at the thought of someone, and you do

b.      When He tells you to humble yourself and give in, in an argument, and you do

c.       When He moves you to meet another person’s need, and you without any hesitation do

d.      When He calls you to open your mouth and witness or encourage, or even rebuke someone in desperate need of a friend, and you do


E.      May God help us to REALLY know the Holy Spirit and to honour him as the Spirit of prayer!

F.      From now on when you pray, let the Holy Spirit lead you, and give you the list to pray about, and give you the burden to pray with, and give you the strength to persevere until God answers!