So, three persons are involved in our praying.  First, we ourselves, in our weakness, do not know what to pray for.  Secondly, the indwelling Spirit helps us by interceding for us and through us with speechless groans, but according to God’s will.  Thirdly, God the Father, who both searches our hearts and knows the Spirit’s mind, hears and answers accordingly.  Of these actors, however, it is the Spirit who is emphasized.  Paul makes three statements about Him.  First, “the Spirit helps us” (because of our weakly, half-saved situation).  Secondly, “the Spirit intercedes for us” (because of our ignorance of what to pray for).  And, thirdly, “the Spirit intercedes according to God’s will (and, therefore, God listens and responds). – John R. W. Stott (1921-2011), from his 1994 commentary on the Book of Romans (at Romans 8.23-27).

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