A wonderful prayer from Scotty Smith, thanks Scotty.
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. Romans 8:26-27
Dear heavenly Father, we cannot thank and praise you too much for sending your Spirit into our hearts. He doesn’t just guarantee our eternal inheritance, he groans within us—identifying with the brokenness of our lives and praying according to the perfection of your will. What comfort, what joy, what freedom this gives us.
Our comfort comes from knowing that having weaknesses and pain is not a sign of spiritual immaturity but of spiritual reality—of new life within us. We are your “already and not yet” children—already adopted and destined to be like Jesus one day, but presently filled with birth pangs. There is a profound ache—a longing inside of us which is best expressed by groans. These are deep groans, painful groans—like a mother birthing a child in the wilderness without the aid of anesthetics. You’re not calling us to “grin and bear it” stoically, but groan with the confidence your Spirit enters our groans.
Indeed, our joy comes from the assurance that we don’t groan alone. Though sometimes it feels like it, you haven’t abandoned us Lord—you never have and you never will. Like the most engaged mid-wife, your Spirit is present in our pain and longings—praying for us according to your will; encouraging us throughout the whole birthing process; guaranteeing us you will bring to completion the good work you have begun in us. Nothing is going to keep us from entering the fullness of our adoption and the redemption of our bodies. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Our freedom comes as we quit pretending we’re not pregnant with glory and stop reaching for anything, anything that will numb our pain. Blessed Father, by the grace of Jesus and the power of your Spirit, free us to cooperate with what you are doing in our lives. It hurts, but it hurts for your glory and our transformation.
And free us to enter into one another’s groans and longings, as well. You are adopting a gigantic family of fraternal twins—all guaranteed to be like your beloved Son, Jesus. We’re in this journey together. Show us how to encourage one another, and all the more, as we see the great Day of our full redemption getting closer and closer. O that our churches would be more like big birthing units and less like sedentary retirement communities. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ beautiful and faithful name.
Pastor for Preaching
Christ Community Church
1215 Hillsboro Rd.
Franklin, TN 37069
Follow Scotty Smith's blog at the Gospel Coalition.