Faith Messages to build your faith

Thursday, June 8, 2017

#118 Prayer Groans and Prayer Agony

Dr. Wesley L. Duewel: Prayer Groaning is Spirit-born. The Holy Spirit in His mighty prevailing for us prays with unutterable groaning. The word for "groan" in Romans 8:26 is stenagmos.

   It is an inward groaning, and it is in the plural. Alaletos is the word meaning "inexpressible." The heart-cry of the Spirit is too deep for human words. It therefore becomes groanings within our hearts that manifest a prayer desire so infinite that it is incapable of being totally expressed. (Google image, Photo credit:

   God the Father understands the Spirit's meaning as He groans within us (Rom. 8:27). Our weakness (v.16) is that our human words cannot adequately and fully articulate the depth of divine longing, just as our personality cannot experience the fullness and depth of the Spirit's longing.

   We can express it truly but not totally. We are finite; He is infinite. Nor do we know what is best in every circumstance.

   Our knowledge is limited, so we do not know what is best to pray for in each situation. The Spirit's very definite and infinitely deep desire must be expressed in groanings rather than in our words, since our words are inadequate.

   Spirit-born groaning is always in accord with God's will. The Spirit could desire nothing other. But God can translate these groanings into His fullest understanding and do "immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us" (Eph. 3:20).

   What infinite condescension that God should choose for the Holy Spirit to indwell us and so fill us that He prays through us, even when our capacity is so limited that His deepest longings can only be partially expressed by us and so inadequately expressed.

   Yet He chooses to involve us in His intercession. He has chosen to prevail through our intense prevailing. Luther wrote, "Nor is prayer ever heard more abundantly than in such agony and groanings of struggling faith."

   In a truly blessed sense the Holy Spirit gives birth to His petitions within us, and He kindles faith within us. As a result, our prevailing prayer of faith 

    "has the almightiness of God linked to it. It  reaches round 
     the world. It can touch the highest heaven or shake the 
     lowest hell. Prayer is a Jacob's ladder, with God's angels 
     ascending and descending, taking up the petitions 
     and bringing down the answers." Payne adds, He has 
     mastered but little of prayer who knows little of the Spirit-
     groaning which cannot be uttered." 

(Payne, The Greatest Force 
     on Earth p. 15)


    Praying Payson of Portland, Oregon, was one who prevailed mightily in prayer. after his death he was found to have calloused knees. By the side of his bed, where he wrestled in prayer day after day, were two grooves worn into the hard boards as he moved back and forth on his knees in prayer.

   Payson used to say that he pitied the Christian who could not experience the meaning of the words "groanings which cannot be uttered" (Rom. 8:26). 

   Of Redfield it is said that in his prayer wrestling he at times groaned as if he were dying, but such mighty groanings were then followed by tremendous spiritual transformations in lives as people repented and confessed their sins.

(McIntyre, Hidden Life of Prayer, 94; 
Ravenhill, Revival Praying, 102)

Holy prayer groanings are probably more often in the silent depth of our soul than sounding from our lips, and the are often expressed in deep sighs of burden or longing.

   I have known the silent groanings of the Spirit more often than the loud cries of groaning. Words do not need to be spoken orally or groans be expressed vocally for God to hear, understand, and answer the deep inner groaning.
                              ~ ~  ~  ~ ~
   Used by permission of the author and Duewel Literature Trust, Inc., Greenwood, Indiana, (with Jean's impressions added)

Mighty Prevailing Prayer
#118 Prayer Groans and Prayer Agony
by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

(pp. 221 -223) Zondervan


God understands

   Father, our silent deep-soul prayers are usually expressed in sighs of burdens or longings, but there are, or will be, times of greater need that may cause the groanings mentioned today.
   My faith is strengthened as I sense the Holy Spirit gives birth to His petitions within me.
   As You fully understand the Holy Spirit's groans within us, I believe He puts Your burdens on high priority in our praying.
   Thank you for the help Your Spirit gives me, as I couldn't be effective in this ministry You've called me to without it.
   In Jesus' name I pray, and admit my need. Amen.

Today's Bible verses-

(Ps. 102:1, 2 NIT) "Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry for help come to you. (2) Do not hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; When I call, answer me quickly."

(Ps. 34:3 KJV) "O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together."

(Is. 12:6 KJV) "Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the holy one of Israel in the midst of thee."

(Rom. 8:26 KJV) "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.)

Today's quotes-

Paul E. Miller- "If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money, and talent are all you need in life. You'll always be a little too tired, a little too busy. But if, like Jesus, you realize you can't do life on your own, then no matter how busy, no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray."(p. 49 in his book, The Prayer Life).

Wesley L. Duewel- "But there is always a tremendous difference between being a disciple of Christ indwelt by the Spirit and being clothed with the Spirit, filled with the Spirit, and empowered by the Spirit. The Spirit must penetrate and possess all of our being. He must control us in all of His lordship. He must pervade our personality. He must add a dimension of supernatural power." 

(Taken from pp. 44-45, in his book,

Today's popular post:

James H. CagleThe Bible says,“Blessed are the undefiled” (Ps. 119:1).  The state of holiness and cleanliness and sanctification is the state of blessedness the writer is referring to. The blessed state is one of morality and purity that a person comes into after they’re saved...

Upcoming posts-

Where Is Your Trust?
10th- Saturday's post by Lee Forbes

#119 Prayer Agony is Godlike
13th- Tuesday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

#120 We are Most Godlike When We Share God's Travail
15th- Thursday's post by Dr. Wesley L. Duewel

Cherish them...While You Can
                             17th- Saturday's post by Ron Hutchcraft

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31-day Devotional 
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[Maybe just choose a title each 
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A sample verse from p. 54- 

Lord, Help Me Show 
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Open my eyes so I may see
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I realize the time has come
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(Published by Lighthouse Publishing 
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