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  • Writer's pictureKaren O'Reilly

Groaning In The Spirit | Romans 8:26-27

Updated: Jun 21

Welcome to Day 14. of our devotional study, Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? online Bible study.  Today's Bible study is about how the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

In today's study, we look at Romans 8:26-27 and discuss how the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us, groaning in the Spirit.

groaning in the spirit

Groaning In The Spirit

Maybe you're going through a challenging time or feeling the heavy weight of a great burden. You want to pray, but the words just won't come. I'm excited to share with you that you are not alone in this struggle. We have the perfect intercessor, the Holy Spirit!

Life can sometimes feel overwhelming. We all face trials, temptations, and uncertainties that can leave us feeling completely helpless. In those moments, we might find ourselves unable to express our prayers or even know what to ask for.

Have you been there? Do you know what it's like to be lost for words, struggling to explain what you're going through? Have you experienced those seasons when you feel too exhausted to pray?

groaning in the holy spirit

What does it mean, " Groaning In The Spirit?

Groaning in the Spirit means the Holy Spirit groans in a deep, empathetic intercession on behalf of believers. The Apostle Paul explains that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness, especially when we do not know what to pray for. The groaning signifies the Spirit's communication with God that goes beyond words, expressing our deepest needs and aligning our prayers with God's perfect will. This intercession assures believers that even in their moments of confusion or inability to articulate their prayers, the Holy Spirit is actively communicating their innermost concerns to God, according to the very will of God.

Read Romans 8:26-27

Click on the Bible verse to read it in various translations at Biblegateway.

"Likewise the 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 God." Romans 8:26-27 ESV.

Romans 8:26-27 is part of the Apostle Paul's letter to the Christians in Rome. In this chapter, Paul discusses the life of the Spirit and the hope believers have in Christ. Paul knew pain personally. He referred to a season of difficulty in  2 Corinthians 1:8-9 He understood how the Holy Spirit groans for us when we are in so much pain that we don't have the words to pray.

The Holy Spirit is your strength in prayer. Even when you don't know what to pray, you can rely on the Holy Spirit, your intercessor to pray on your behalf, for He knows the will of God.

What is the definition of an intercessor?

An intercessor appeals to someone on behalf of a situation or another person. They are a go-between, like lawyers who plead their clients' cases before a judge or jury. They intercede in situations that are due to troubles or difficulties.

Romans 8:26 tells us we have an intercessor when life causes us to groan - The Holy Spirit!

Tony Evans sums up, the groaning in the Spirit perfectly in his book, The Power of the Holy Spirit's Names

When the pain is so deep that you can't even get the words out, or all you can do is cry because the hurt is like a hurricane within, the Holy Spirit is there to help you. The Spirit helps the most when you're at your lowest, in your weaknesses. Paul tells us that's when He intercedes on our behalf with His own groanings too deep for words. He goes to God on our behalf to seek our relief and the way out of the depts of pain that engulf us.

The Spirit Of Adoption

Do you know that as a child of God, you have the privilege to come to God's throne room of grace all the time?

In Romans 8:15-17, Paul reminds us of a beautiful truth: we are adopted into God’s family. This adoption grants us the right to call God "Abba, Father," a term of deep intimacy and affection. Just as Jesus cried out to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, we too have the privilege to approach God with our deepest needs and concerns.

Because of your adoption by God as His son or daughter, you may cry out to Him, " Abba Father!"

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

You have permission to call on God the same way Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane when His soul was deeply grieved.

"And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:26 ESV.

As children of God, we have the assurance that our prayers are heard. The Holy Spirit's intercession bridges the gap between our limited understanding and God's perfect will. We can rest in the knowledge that our Abba Father hears us, understands us, and cares for us deeply. This assurance transforms our prayer life, fostering a deeper intimacy with God. The name Abba is Aramic and means, Daddy or Pappa.

You can be encouraged to know that in your deepest, darkest times, when you draw close to God, you cannot go wrong in prayer when you rely on the groanings of the Holy Spirit on your behalf.


In the "Groaning in the Spirit" devotional study, we explored the vital role of the Holy Spirit in interceding for us during times of weakness, as described in Romans 8:26-27. As adopted children of God, we have the privilege of calling Him "Abba, Father," ensuring that our prayers are heard, just like Jesus' in Gethsemane (Mark 14:36).

When we are unsure how to pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes with "wordless groans," aligning our prayers with God’s will and expressing our deepest needs. This assures us that our prayers are always heard, enhancing our trust and intimacy with God.

Here are cross-references for further study:

John 1:12-13, Galatians 4:6-7, John 16:13, 1 Jihn 5:14-15, Hebrews 4;16, 2 Corinthians 1:5, Hebrews 7:25.

Let's pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Holy Spirit, who intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Help us to embrace our identity as Your adopted children, crying out to You as our Abba Father. Strengthen us to follow Jesus' example of submission to Your will, trusting that You hear and understand our deepest needs. May Your Spirit guide us in our prayers and sustain us in our journey. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Who Is The Holy Spirit And What Does He Do? Online Bible Study and Printable Journal

who is the holy spirit and what does he do printable

Dive even deeper into this study with our printable journal. This journal is designed to guide you through personal reflections and insights, enhancing your experience as you engage with the Scriptures and listen to the Holy Spirit. Grab your journal HERE.

Here are some questions to consider as you study the person of the Holy Spirit:

  1. What is the most important truth I learned about the Holy Spirit?

  2. Did the Holy Spirit convict me of anything that I need to change in my life?

 Come back tomorrow as we study Power Of The Holy Spirit

Thank you for joining me on this journey. May the Holy Spirit continue to lead you into a deeper relationship with God and empower you to live out your faith boldly and effectively.

Resources used in today's study on, Groaning In The Spirit

You may be encouraged by these resources:

  • Scriptural Grace Resource Library (FREE) HERE. 

  • Devotional Bible Studies For Women And Quiet Time Resources Forever Access Bundle HERE 

  • Printable Devotions For Women's Groups HERE

  • Names of God resources HERE 

  • Topical Bible plans HERE  

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Karen xx.


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