In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express (Romans 8:26).
We do not like to feel weak. We especially don’t like to feel spiritually weak, but that is exactly what we experience when we struggle to pray or do not know what to pray. As we find ourselves in spiritual weakness it not uncommon to hear from somewhere: “You just don’t measure up.” If we believe that, then we may find ourselves feeling distance from God.
So here we are in our weakness, needing God’s help and strength, but thinking we are far from him because he is drawn to feel strong in him. In this conundrum we almost start thinking that Jesus’ first beatitude says, “Blessed are the strong in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.”
But we need a mind change. Our weakness is not viewed by God as a deficit, and it does not put distance between us and him, not when it leads us to depend on him. In our weakness, the Spirit does not reject us or pull back from us. No, he helps us. He intercedes for us. As we claim and trust that, our weakness really is turned to strength.