"We do not know how to pray as we ought" (Romans 8:26)


Salvete, omnes!

In Romans 8:26, Paul states that “we do not know how to pray as we ought” and says that the Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words (quoting and paraphrasing the NASB).

I don’t know about you, but, very many times, I know precisely what I am going to come to the Lord with. Yes, there are (very few) times when something is on my heart that is too deep for me to express in words and I do feel my spirit (the Spirit?) groaning inside trying to express it to God. Still, this is very rare for me and (I would assume?) is also very rare for most of us. Indeed, I don’t think most of us pray that profoundly all the time so as to merit the Spirit’s intervention with groanings, whatever, indeed, that may mean.


  1. What does the Spirit intervening with groanings actually even mean?

  2. Does this apply in all cases? Most cases? Some cases? No cases?

Gratias multas.

  1. The writer doesn’t say we don’t know how to pray as we want, he says we don’t know how to pray as we OUGHT. Big difference, relevant to the question you pose.

  2. Many times when we don’t know how we OUGHT to pray, but are praying nonetheless, the Spirit of God within us prays for us.

  3. Frequency might vary by person, and by season in a person’s life. One might argue that the state of the family, the Church, and the world are clear indications we are not earnestly praying as we ought.


I personally believe that Contemplative Prayer is what St Paul would assume to be the best way to pray. To keep God constantly in mind, with love.


Isaiah 55:6-10
[6] Seek ye the Lord, while he may be found: call upon him, while he is near. [7] Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unjust man his thoughts, and let him return to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God: for he is bountiful to forgive.** [8] For my thoughts are not your thoughts: nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. [9] For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.** [10] And as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return no more thither, but soak the earth, and water it, and make it to spring, and give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:"

What Paul is saying here is that God, being PERFECT, desires all things associated with Him to also be Perfect.

We, mortals that we are seldom acheive this level in our prayer life. Paul is teaching NOT to worry:D The HS will make it right for us!

This is yet another manifestation of God’s inordinate LOVE for us:thumbsup:

Blessings, Patrick


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