28th November 2021

The groans of our heart

Sometimes words are not enough. When a child is born, it is hard to put into words the joy that comes from the miracle of a new life coming into the world. When we lose a loved one, words fail to convey the depth of our grief. Oftentimes, the beauty of creation is so overwhelming, our only response is silent reverence. In these moments, words fail to express the depth of our emotions.

The same is true in our relationship to God. Not only do we have difficulty finding words to express the depth of our need for God, but we also often find ourselves struggling with words when we talk to God. Fortunately, we have help. Notice what Paul tells the believers in Rome:

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:22-23 (NIV)

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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)

Our need for God is so great that we groan inside for him. Words cannot express how much we need the redemption that is found in Jesus Christ. We need the Holy Spirit to intercede for us. And that’s one of the reasons we celebrate Pentecost. It was the day when the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples, launched the church, and began the church’s mission to the world. With spectacular signs and wonders, Pentecost revealed God’s desire to dwell in the hearts of his people. He wants to live inside us because that is where we need to be healed—that is where we groan.

The amazing thing is that the Holy Spirit understands the groans of our heart. He understands the words we cannot express. Not only does he understand, but he takes our wordless prayers and brings them to the Father on our behalf. The Holy Spirit groans with us, expressing the depth of our need for God as only he can. Even when we do not know how to pray, the Holy Spirit knows, and he intercedes on our behalf.

Because of the humanity of Jesus Christ, God understands us completely, and the Spirit uses that knowledge to pray for us perfectly. So, when we turn to God, we are turning to a Father who already knows what we need and, to Jesus Christ, our big brother who fully identifies with our human experience.

When our words are not enough; when words fail us, it is good to know that God never will. He is always with us and he always understands.

Presented by Greg Williams


About the presenter:
Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International.  Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local congregation:
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