“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 8:26)
When the Holy Spirit said He “helpeth our infirmities,” He caused Paul to coin the Greek word sunantilambanomai (translated “helpeth”). This very unusual and complicated term is only used twice in Scripture, once in our text and the other when Martha requested that Jesus tell Mary to “help” her wait on guests during a dinner at their home (Luke 10:40). This strong term insists on working together in the same task with the same enthusiasm.
We have astheneia (infirmities) and are unable to articulate the correct request. But the Holy Spirit makes huperentugchano (intercession) for us; again, a completely unusual word, adding the Greek preposition huper (above) to the basic word for “intercession” (used in Romans 8:27, 34; 11:2; Hebrews 7:25).
Then, the Holy Spirit uses stenagmos (groaning) that cannot be alaletos (stated), using two words unique to this very specific application. What seems to be in view by Paul is that the Holy Spirit makes a “sigh” in a way that only God Himself can understand, because the thought is “too deep” for words.
Whenever we find these words used in other Greek literature, they usually describe a sound that is emitted under either pain or ecstasy. How marvelous! HMM III
Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, and Dr. John Morris to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.