“Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He searching the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God”, Rom 8:26-27.

There are so many assumptions about intercession and most especially about this specific portion of the Bible that I found in my heart a curious need to expose what I know about it. I have ruminated on it for long enough now to be able to expose it through a short topic. I have never seen any preacher preach correctly about this portion of Scripture, even though I believe there are some, or else earth’s hope would have vanished long ago. Because we feel there is hope in the air, because we smell it, we may also conclude and assume there is intercession of the genuine kind going on somewhere. That is the only assumption I can take from all of this, the only sign there is that someone is still praying the right way somewhere and for the right motives still. There is hope in the air and due to it we may take such an assumption to be a truthful one. Earth’s hope is directly given and handed over to such people who present earth to God as unsaved still.

There are a few points on this portion of the Bible I would like to point out, even if not expounding them that much here. First point is that people say these groanings happen in heaven. It cannot be true, for they happen inside the heart and being of the saints, those who are holy before God and called for this ministry. We read “…We should pray as we ought…”; this meaning that the intervention of the Spirit specifically here is so as to cause us to pray as we ought as well as according to what we ought. People assume wrongly this is something the Spirit does in heaven because we do not know how to pray down here at all for and by ourselves. But, in case it were so, why would the Spirit “search the hearts and know the mind of God” at the same time so as to work out a spirit of prayer right now in any of us, which will melt the hearts with the will of God through the intensity of the desire of a holy God within them after all?

When we read the words “the Spirit intercedes for us”, we may only assume we are doing it as if it were not us for us about other people, or at least it is not us but it is fully done as if it were. This is what the words "for us" mean, it is, "by us, within us". Either way, it is “us” doing it right now as we ought. These words “for us” mean in us as if it were we doing it and not in our behalf somewhere in heaven. God for us, means us before God as we ought. It is God doing in us as if it were us doing as we ought to. Jesus catches the heart of man and does there as He did in many occasions on His own while in Galilee as if it were not Him, but us: He does it for and in us. This is done so well that people are seldom aware it is God doing it through them, for they firmly believe they need to be bold and knock so hard that even angels will need something to stop and close their ears with! We may only assume this is what happened with those blind men in Jericho who never kept quiet, not even after people told them to because Jesus had not been paying attention to any of them while they have been calling out to Him, Mat.20:29.

The other point is that we can read here about “praying as we ought” as well as for “what we should” be found praying for. That Christians pray having their own things in mind is commonly known everywhere, but that Christians are able to pray for heavenly issues as if it were their own concern and their only business is something the Spirit of God is able to work in them from any point on. The Spirit carries into the whole being of any saint His own mind about many, specific and down to earth issues. He, the Lord, causes them to pray for what they should be praying for all along and at a specific time. Intercession is like the olive-oil-burning of the lamps in the temple of Moses: it has got to burn without interruption, but it never burns the same oil over and over since it burned and therefore must be renewed on a daily basis. The Spirit causes people to stop praying when they are heard above as well; He also causes them to cease  to pray for their own things that way, causing them to pray for higher things which they do not see, and which God sees and makes them to see for real as He does Himself; and most important of all, these saints get the answers and not only do they get to pray. To get to pray is the least any man can get to do, because Jesus said "You shall find" and not only "you shall ask".

If and when the Spirit of God takes full hold of the heart of any man, that heart is taken from the point it is found and starts praying for the right things right there, being holy already or not. It is starting to pray for whatever one should from any point on. But, most important, it prays the right way as well. “Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus…” Heb 10:19. This boldness takes such a hold of people that they seem to be found fighting with God as Jacob did, wrestling with the Holy one as if they have never sinned before because of the reality of what the blood of Jesus has achieved in and through them. We will find a smoker praying to be able to quit it right there and not tomorrow because he senses he needs to quit it first to reach unto greater issues ahead, just as much as we will find a holy, spotless person praying for the extermination of someone else’s sin as if it was his own and not the other person’s! But, the most important characteristic of this prayer is that people usually pray right there for right away. And to be able to do that, they must be found in the right time always. It is the main characteristic of these prayers that people pray for it to happen right there as if it should have been done a long time ago, as if the right time for the answer is due and should have been already. And this is true, for Christians sleep so much that the Spirit easily shows just how late they are concerning the right things which should have been prayed for and being done by then. The Spirit praying in us for us, does so according to this truth, according to anything which is truth, for Christianity is the only thing which has not evolved, but has rather gone backwards. It is not even the same as in the apostles’ time anymore, not even close to it and it should have evolved! We have greater means to achieve for God now than any of them had then. People still do not believe in God after 2000 years, how much less live closely related to Him after believing! Believing is the least we could have achieved by now! The miracles of God and the revivals’ news should be more on the news than terrorism at this point and age.

When the people of God start praying in the Spirit, they become aware of truthful issues just as God is aware of them all Himself. When the Spirit of God intercedes within us, using our own spirit and mind and awareness concerning real things and about the Kingdom of God on earth and elsewhere, He causes to pray according to all truth: “as we should”. Praying in the Spirit is always an aware praying, which stares death and life issues in the face and struggles with it until it gets hold of the right words to express a  something, which has been made real within, and is able to use the right spirit to do so as well. People who are not in the Spirit are not aware of real things as they should. The Spirit takes people off a maybe world and shows sin as sin, holiness as holiness, death as real death, Life as abundant as it is supposed to be. Any holy man during such praying occasions is able to fight his way through, gets hold of spotlessness and holiness, knowing he won’t achieve his own heart’s desire unless he becomes clean for real through the blood of Jesus in such a way that he is made fully aware there are more important things to be done ahead than sin, and sin should be dealt against harshly and immediately - right there to leave it behind for good. It may come to cause people to look out for heavenly minds and hearts without being tempted to be selfish about any of it all. Many people want clean hearts to go to heaven or to miss hell alone. It is easy to understand the full range and achievement of these words of Jesus: “And I sanctify Myself for their sakes, so that they also might be sanctified in truth”, John 17:19. Jesus did not die for Himself, nor to sit at the right hand of the Father alone for that same purpose. He had to get there because it was important "...for Him to be the First-born among many brothers", Rom.8:29. He did it for the "many brothers".

Indeed, praying in the Spirit makes us become as we ought, by the motives we ought, as well as to get the answer and not the only prayer out in understandable words. Praying in the Spirit is not praying in tongues, it is praying in groanings as holy as we ought to become and gets the answer right away after getting the words and the mind to get expressed. Praying in the Spirit does never postpone things, for it thinks as God would at a specific timing and time table.  God has a specific time table for all things and the human mind has all means to keep postponing it or exchanging it. And we know that, every mind which postpones things is a mind which keeps itself busy through the wrong things when time is right for some other issues and makes hoping upon those things which it postpones and should rather have them then and right there at that point, and those things serve only as a motive to carry on sinning while hoping upon better days. It exchanges poles, hoping upon whatever it should have found already by then, so as to encourage itself while sins take hope away and diminish upon any of it over and over again.

If the Spirit prays in us for us, we pray as if it were us and are able to put future things in the future, present things in the present and past things in the past; we are able to see illusion as illusion, however real and visible it may seem to us, and we see real issues as real – however invisible they are unto us still. We become able to take care of the day which is called today, take tomorrow as tomorrow, and recall yesterday as yesterday even when we look deep into any of it. The Spirit of God puts everything into its proper place while we pray and walk in Him, even our hearts and minds become as they ought to be all along. One should only be bold enough to believe it and never cease to pray until the answer is granted, giving up on it in any stage of our circumstances whatsoever, since “we have the mind of Christ” in us and should in no way abandon it and grieve the Spirit of God Who is doing for us, in us, as and what we should be found doing.

Intercession has a double feature, however. It intercedes before God for men and before men for God as well. I have only touched one side of it. We should be able to present unto mankind the case of God as well, as if it were a courtroom where we dare not loose the case of Jesus before and to man. Amen.

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José Mateus