In Romans 8:26-28 the Apostle teaches us about the Holy Spirit helping us in our weaknesses. The Greek word here is Parakletos meaning someone who is an intercessor, comforter, helper, advocate, and/or a counselor. Outside of the Biblical setting it is technically an attorney who goes to court on behalf of another. Jesus uses the same word four times in the gospel of John (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said He would send Him, and the use of the word “Allos” (another) in 14:16 indicates one with similarities to Himself, yet with diversity of operation and ministry. He would teach, bring Jesus teachings to recollection, and help us. Here in Romans 8 He is shown to help in our weaknesses in prayer. There are differing interpretations of the “groaning” of verse 26, are they as some think, the Holy Spirit groaning through us, or as others think are they our groaning, sighing, and crying out to God in ways we can’t express, which the Holy Spirit takes and turns into effective intercessions before God? The latter seems to be more likely but either way it does not say that He takes our place in prayer or replaces our prayers; rather He partners with us in prayer. Paul is not specifically addressing speaking with tongues in these verses, but the practice of doing so in prayer certainly fits the criterion, with both kinds of speech being made effective by Him (cf. 1 Corinthians 14:15). Note that the positive outcomes of verse 28 are linked to our participation with the Holy Spirit in the previous verses.
By Rose Hill
We have a wonderful helper indeed,
That prays for us according to our need
The Spirit of God helps us when we’re weak,
If with all our heart the truth we seek.
When we do not know how to pray,
We can count on Him to show the way.
And to intercede according to God’s will,
His message to us is to be still.
God will search what the mind of the Spirit is,
And bring good to those who are His.
Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson Co. used by permission.