Romans 8:26-27 But Just How Are We To Pray Outline


ROMANS 8:26-27  (27 TODAY)

Charles e Whisnant, July 15th 2012

Ever NOT  Known What To Pray?


The Holy Spirit – Romans 8:26 – ‘Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.’

8:26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray,29  but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. 8:27 And he30  who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit31  intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s willNET BIBLE   


So when we are in the place of tribulations and trials in this life as Christians and how should we overcome them?

First: Christians are to face their trials and tribulations by means of hope, that it is hope which comforts us and sustains us and enables us to go on.

Plus in this journey of life, in this fight of faith, and in the middle of persecutions, and disappointments, and trials of various description we are driven to PRAYER.


We are given help from the Holy Spirit. So we have hope yes, we have faith yes, but there is an additional aid in this matter.  We have the Holy Spirit’s aid.

Now what Paul is doing in this chapter is giving us a continuing exposition of the theme he established in verse one. The whole object of this chapter is to show that our final glorification is absolutely guaranteed from the moment of our justification. And Paul has given us several varieties of ways to show us this.

And the work of the Holy Spirit has been the assurance of this happening.


Vs. 26  “ Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses.” And specifically in our prayer.” For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,”

As we as true believers are traveling through this life as Christian believers in Christ the Lord, what is more important  for us than that we should know how to keep in touch with God.


Primarily the problem of prayer comes from our infirmities or wickedness.  Paul is referring to our general state and condition, which is one of infirmity.  Hebrews 5:2   He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness.

Weakness, lack of strength is not sinful in and of itself.  There is a difference between infirmities and sins.

Our infirmities, our character flaws, lack of strength, may lead us to sin, but our weakness is due to the Fall of man.   There is in us a certain weakness, lack of powers, certain disabilities and inabilities that result in our humanness.  But its more than just a physical thing here, it is more spiritual than physical.

Example of our weakness:

Infirmities: lack of strength, medical conditions that causes a lack of strength or vitality

There is a physical aspect in our lack of strength. There is a connection between the mind and the soul and the spirit of us, nothing can happen to the one part without a variety of repercussions on the other parts;

For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought,

There is nothing more important than our relationship with our Heavenly Father, our ability to speak to God and to listen to God; that is the purpose of prayer really.

Our trouble is not that we do not know how we ought to pray – it is not a question of prayer in general – but what to pray for in particular, and in certain given circumstances.

It’s been pointed out that in the Greek that the word “what”  is preceded by the definite article.  It is “the what”, We know not what we ought to pray for as we ought.

As we ought”.  Means “what is necessary in the nature of the case.” This particular case.

“We know not the what to pray for as it is necessary:” A.T. Robertson says

A.S. Way put the verse this way: “We are not even sure what boons (greater benefit)  should rightly be the object of our prayer.” (A paraphrase rather than a translation.)

So why should this problem concerning “the what’ be such a difficult matter?

One reason is that we do not understand, we do not always know what is best for us, what is right for us, and we may pray for the wrong thing.

Greater men than any of us have done so. Deuteronomy 3:;23-26 and 2 Corinthians 12:1-10


Because of our infirmity, or weakness, Paul tells us we do not always know how to pray for? Who would have guessed that having some kind of physical illness would have been a blessing! So we have to be really careful what we pray for!

That is why I say we need to be careful about how we pray? You might say “Pray about it” or you might say “Let us have a word of prayer about it.” And I am going to say, let’s be careful how we pray about that.               A good idea is to take the position of the writer of Psalms 77


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