The consideration of this point is useful to us, first, in a way of counsel. In God's time, however, its results will be made manifest. And here the Spirit brings to remembrance the grace and promises suited to our case (Genesis 32:11, 12), and unfolds that grace and these promises, causing to understand them in a spiritual and saving manner (1 Corinthians 2:12). The Lord knows their hearts and minds in it (2 Chronicles 6:8; 2 Corinthians 8:12). In the profoundest sense when the soul is touched by the Spirit emotions are awakened which break out in unutterable aspiration.III. But better illustrations are found in Paul's own expression (Philippians 1:22, 3); and in that of our Lord (John 12:27, 28). It is the fire from the altar that sends up the smoke; it is the earthly nature of the incense that occasions the ashes.2. )Encouragements to prayer for the weak and oppressedEssex Congregational Remembrancer.Consider —I. The visitation itself may be unperceived by him, while it is working its blessed effects in the hidden recesses of a disconsolate heart. Much of it consists in feelings that cannot be expressed. In prayer these are brought forth into exercise — the man acts faith, love, etc. And it is seen in our intercessions when under His sacred influence we order our case before the Lord, and plead with holy wisdom for things convenient and necessary.5. God knows the mind of the Spirit in this sense also. They sometimes concern such great things that they cannot be spoken. Those who think they shall at any time be searched, they are commonly more careful of themselves; and so it should be with us in this particular, and that in divers respects. ALL OUR PRAYING ARIGHT IS DONE BY THE HELP OF THE SPIRIT. The longing for submission to God is also at times unutterable. But between these two advocates there can be no discord, The Spirit's intercession is an effect of Christ's, and flows out of it. Many prayers are offered from a sense of duty, or force of habit, to some Being, we scarcely dare ask who. So Christ speaks for us, and the Spirit tells us what to say. We have all been conscious of a deep feeling of something wrong in us that no words can express. We cannot apprehend what prayer is; that the gift might be to us ruin, or eternal blessedness; that God takes note of the defects of our supplication; without feeling that we hold tremendous issues in our hands. Okay, here’s the deal. ITS SUCCESS. The boisterousness of a boy just back from school, which a stranger might wish to suppress, the parent sees to be the expression of a gladness in his home too full to be kept down. H. And here the Spirit brings to remembrance the grace and promises suited to our case (Genesis 32:11, 12), and unfolds that grace and these promises, causing to understand them in a spiritual and saving manner (1 Corinthians 2:12). The man that has been the worst in life has encouragement to repent and turn to God. Even in this work, too, you must have the Spirit to help your infirmities. "He maketh intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered," setting the gracious heart working towards God with the utmost earnestness. And it affords us this observation which arises out of it: that none can pray truly and effectually but only the saints (thus Psalm 32:6; Proverbs 15:8; Psalm 145:19). We ask for no blessing, for we are fully blessed; but "our soul breaketh for the longing" it hath unto God. . But yet, in going thus to God, we have been helped; we have been calmed as our spirits have mutely breathed towards God.2. We can but bow and trust "with groanings which cannot be uttered."III. God is our reconciled God and Father, to whom we come; Christ the Mediator, through whom we come, and the Spirit our Guide, by whom we come (Ephesians 2:18). I. The second is the manner of the performance, according to God, which we translate, according to His will. 22, 23. All that is right in our prayers is from the Spirit, and all that is wrong in them from ourselves (1 Corinthians 12:11; 1 Peter 1:22; with 2 Corinthians 3:5). And so as for the manner of duty, so likewise for the undertaking of it. ITS SUCCESS. Much of it consists in feelings that cannot be expressed. The Lord knows the mind of the Spirit in this respect also. Coming to our aid in our bewilderment —1. Hence we fail to "take hold on God." First, in matter of duty, that our heart be right here. But I content myself with saying that this is part of the Christian revelation. (3) We must ask with persevering earnestness. There may be knowledge, and there may be strong desire; but, without faith, the voice of prayer will sink into the waft of despondency, and die away! The second is the manner of the performance, according to God, which we translate, according to His will. So Paul was sometimes as ignorant of the will of God concerning him as the weakest disciple.II. We have two advocates, one of them in heaven and the other on earth — one of them being always with us, and the other being always at the Father's right hand.II. The Lord knoweth the heart in all the turnings and windings of it. He then moved upon the face of the waters, before He said, "Let there be light." If, therefore, the Holy Spirit move you to any desire, then His mind is in your prayer, and it is not possible that the eternal Father should reject your petitions. Much of it consists in feelings that cannot be expressed. W. To encourage the timid.3. Secondly, seeing those prayers alone are acceptable which are made according to the will of God, it does from hence nearly concern us to be well instructed in this will, and to know what it is (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:17). THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE INTERCESSION OF THE SPIRIT AND THAT OF CHRIST is that the latter is a fact revealed to faith; the former a fact known by experience. 3. It is useful to us here, to put us upon it, and to keep us from shifting it off upon pretence of want of ability or opportunity for it. The prophets, as Samuel to Saul, "I will tell thee all that is in thine heart" (1 Samuel 9:9). In this respect "The Spirit helpeth our infirmities." "He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit."IV. And our Saviour shows that we cannot rightly perform the duty without it (Luke 11:10-13).III. To praying aright is required a light of the mind and warmth of affections, the former for the matter, the latter for the manner. For we do not know how we ought to pray, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans too deep for words. May your Spirit intercede on our behalf and take us beyond the limits of where we’ve ever been before, that we might indeed do your will here on earth as it is in heaven. (1) The order and economy of the Divine persons showeth it. Everything that deadens hope or that makes us contented to be as we are, will hinder prayer. Some of you know what it is to say with Christ, "Father, save me from this hour"; to kneel with Him in Gethsemane. )But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be utteredThe intercession of the Spirit in prayerE. That this difficulty discourages many in their first attempt at prayer will be readily admitted. 2. He, who comes from the very heart of heaven, He who brings that flush and warmth of Divine joy which can make even the summer of this world seem faint and poor, He can take our restless, bewildered hearts back along the path which He has traversed, to His throne, who made us for Himself, in whom alone we can rest. The intercession of Christians for one another is of this twofold character. THE SPIRIT'S WORK IN OUR PRAYING ARIGHT, OR WHAT HIS INTERCESSION FOR US IS. It is a function of the Spirit's office to teach. If our petitions are not immediately answered, we are unwilling to wait any longer. It may be so because of a conflict of feeling. This is the property of the Almighty: to be the searcher of the heart, not only simply, but exclusively, making it to be such a description of the Divine Majesty, as wherein none but Himself is included. There is a twofold fainting. The intercessions of Christ are in Christ's own prayers; the intercessions of the Spirit are in the prayers of believers. The Lord, who is the searcher of hearts, knoweth — that is, understandeth — what is the mind and meaning of the Spirit in those imperfect sighs and groans which do at any time come from us. It may be said that we can rightly ask for such; and so we can when God's Spirit teaches us, but not till then. 2. They are according to the will or mind of God, for He never maketh intercession in us other than is consistent with the Divine will.(C. And this again it may be taken two ways. But against the pleading weakness of the flesh the spirit utters its protest; you know the conflict, the "agony" of prayer. Sometimes the desire of a present indulgence makes us forgetful of duties, an attention to which would yield us more solid and lasting enjoyment. He shows us our need of wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. But the promise is designed to teach us that the agency of the Spirit in prayer is indispensable. )The Holy Spirit an internal intercessorW. 1. W. If it were some little thing, my narrow capacity could comprehend and describe it, but I need all covenant blessings. So Elisha likewise to Gehazi, "Went not my heart with thee," etc. We may be asking for the removal of a chastisement from a family or a nation; and yet so strong is our conviction of the righteousness and wisdom of God that we dare not ask its removal with absolute and importunate supplication. It is in consistency with the analogy of the Divine proceedings to connect great blessings with severe trials.IV. It is impossible for our cause to be mismanaged from unacquaintance, on His part, with God's will. "The Spirit helpeth our infirmities. We sometimes find our minds carried as by a strong under-current into a particular line of prayer for some one definite object. Desire is strong, but faith in the unknown will of God is stronger. Beecher. First, in matter of duty, that our heart be right here.