Navigating the Obstacle Course of Prayer – Praying With Purpose Series

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Praying with Purpose Sermon Series Part 1

Navigating the Obstacle Course of Prayer

Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

I. Our InfirmitiesLikewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities

Definition of INFIRMITIES: weakness, sickness, frailness, feebleness

Paul gives a list of our infirmities. Notice them:

               A. Infirmities of a Spiritual Nature – vs. 18-21

Sufferings of this present time – vs. 18 (he’s referring to verse 17 – suffering as a Christian)

Earnest expectation…waiting for the sons of God. – vs. 19 (Colossians 3:4)

Subject to vanity – vs. 20

Bondage of corruption – vs. 21

               B. Infirmities of a Physical Nature – vs. 22-23

Groaneth and travaileth in pain – vs. 22

Groan within ourselves, waiting for the redemption of our body – vs. 23

               C. Infirmities of an Emotional Nature – vs. 24, 25

Hope that is not seen – vs. 24

Then do we with patience wait for it – vs. 25

Interesting note: If your patience is not greater than your hope; if it doesn’t happen when you want it to or when you expect it to, you may be making the situation worse.

  • Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life.

DEFERRED – drawn out; drag out; to proceed; to prolong

SICK – weak; ill; diseased; grieved

II. Our Ignorancefor we know not what we should pray for as we ought:

Two things we can gather from this statement:

               1. There are things we ought to pray for.

               2. We do not know what they are.

Too many times, we allow our infirmities to dictate our prayer life.

We allow the circumstances we are going through to determine how we pray.

We pray under the burdens of our spiritual, physical and mental infirmities.

Matthew 20

  • 20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping [him], and desiring a certain thing of him.
  • 21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.
  • 22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
  • 23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.
  • 24 And when the ten heard [it], they were moved with indignation against the two brethren.

III. Our Intercessors – …but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us.

The Bible is clear: The entire Godhead is available to help us overcome the obstacles in our prayer life.

               A. God the Holy Spirit Intercedes

  • Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
  • Romans 8:27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

               B. God the Son Intercedes

  • Romans 8:34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
  • Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

Conclusion: Our goal should be to pray “…according to the will of God.” Vs. 27

If we are praying according to our infirmities, we will not pray according to God’s will.

Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane under intense physical, spiritual and emotional strain.

Yet he prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done…”

Jesus was God in the flesh, but He still had the capacity to have a will that could be contrary to Father’s.

  • John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

We need the Holy Spirit to pray for us for us to be able to pray according to the will of God.