Read Romans 8:18-38
Have you ever sent a text message and then read it after clicking send, only to discover that your fingers or auto-correct changed the meaning of what you intended to write? Those quick texts can be funny, but they can also be misunderstood. As I thought about this, todayís Bible passage came to mind. I was reminded that for Godís children, our messages to him are never misinterpreted. Yet, during difficult times in our lives, God may seem silent, and we might think he doesnít hear our groaning prayers. Romans 8 reminds us this isn't true. There are three kinds of groans mentioned in this passage (from the Greek word stenazo, meaning to sigh with grief, an audible expression of anguish, an inward, unexpressed feeling of sorrow):
1) All creation groans, creation was cursed as a result of Adam and Eveís original sin; it longs to be set free from its corrupting force. (Genesis 3: 17-18; Romans 8:22) We see evidence of this corruption in hostile weather patterns, deadly viruses, famines, and the decay of things, plants, animals, and people.
2) All people groan, sin has left its mark on the human race; we are separated from God and there is division and hostility among people because of it. Our minds and bodies suffer from sickness, disease, and death. Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sins, and to restore our relationship to God. Even so, Godís children are not immune to deep despair; we groan inwardly, longing for the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:23)
3) The Holy Spirit groans. This is the greatest news! The Holy Spirit doesnít groan out of despair or grief, he groans to send our messages to God! We have an Advocate who understands our painful and helpless state. ďThe Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of GodĒ Romans 8:26-27 (ESV).
How comforting to know that the Holy Spirit always sends the right message to God for his children. The next time you donít know what to pray or even how to pray, sit in silence and trust the Holy Spirit to intercede for you with groaning prayers that are never misconstrued.
Thank you, Father, for the promise that through Jesus Christ, nothing can separate me from your love. Thank you for that coming day when you will restore all of creation! Come, Lord Jesus, come! Amen.
Teach children to pray the Prayer of Jesus.
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