Parallel Bible VersionsGreek Bible Study Tools

Romans 8:26 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for [us] with groanings which cannot be uttered;
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for [us] with groanings too deep for words;
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— 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.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— And in like manner the Spirit joins also its help to our weakness; for we do not know what we should pray for as is fitting, but the Spirit itself makes intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— In the selfsame way moreover, even the Spirit, helpeth together in our weakness,—for, what we should pray for as we ought, we know not, but, the Spirit itself, maketh intercession with sighings unutterable,
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And, in like manner also, the Spirit doth help our weaknesses; for, what we may pray for, as it behoveth [us], we have not known, but the Spirit himself doth make intercession for us with groanings unutterable,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For, we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings,
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Likewise the spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what wee should pray for as wee ought: but the spirit it selfe maketh intercession for vs with groanings, which cannot bee vttered.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— So also the Spirit helpeth our infirmity: for what to pray for as we ought we know not; but the Spirit himself prayeth on our behalf in groanings unspoken.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— So also the Spirit aideth our weakness. For we know not what to pray for, in a proper manner; but the Spirit prayeth for us, with groans not expressible:

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
Likewise 5615
{5615} Prime
ὡσαύτως
hosautos
{ho-sow'-toce}
From G5613 and an adverb from G0846; as thus, that is, in the same way.
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
Spirit 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
also 2532
{2532} Prime
καί
kai
{kahee}
Apparently a primary particle, having a copulative and sometimes also a cumulative force; and, also, even, so, then, too, etc.; often used in connection (or composition) with other particles or small words.
helpeth 4878
{4878} Prime
συναντιλαμβάνομαι
sunantilambanomai
{soon-an-tee-lam-ban'-om-ahee}
From G4862 and G0482; to take hold of opposite together, that is, co-operate (assist).
z5736
<5736> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Middle or Passive Deponent (See G5790)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 618
our 2257
{2257} Prime
ἡμῶν
hemon
{hay-mone'}
Genitive plural of G1473; of (or from) us.
infirmities: 769
{0769} Prime
ἀσθένεια
astheneia
{as-then'-i-ah}
From G0772; feebleness (of body or mind); by implication malady; moral frailty.
for 1063
{1063} Prime
γάρ
gar
{gar}
A primary particle; properly assigning a reason (used in argument, explanation or intensification; often with other particles).
we know 1492
{1492} Prime
εἰδῶ
eido
{i-do'}
A primary verb; used only in certain past tenses, the others being borrowed from the equivalent, G3700 and G3708; properly to see (literally or figuratively); by implication (in the perfect only) to know.
z5758
<5758> Grammar
Tense - Perfect (See G5778)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 516
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
what 5101
{5101} Prime
τίς
tis
{tis}
Probably emphatic of G5100; an interrogitive pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions).
we should pray for 4336
{4336} Prime
προσεύχομαι
proseuchomai
{pros-yoo'-khom-ahee}
From G4314 and G2172; to pray to God, that is, supplicate, worship.
z5667
<5667> Grammar
Tense - Aorist (See G5777)
Voice - Middle Deponent (See G5788)
Mood - Subjunctive (See G5792)
Count - 55
as 2526
{2526} Prime
καθό
katho
{kath-o'}
From G2596 and G3739; according to which thing, that is, precisely as, in proportion as. ---- G2526' ---- From G2527; universal.
we ought: 1163
{1163} Prime
δεῖ
dei
{die}
Third person singular active present of G1210; also δεόν [[deon]], {deh-on'}; which is neuter active participle of the same; both used impersonally; it is (was, etc.) necessary (as binding).
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
but 235
{0235} Prime
ἀλλά
alla
{al-lah'}
Neuter plural of G0243; properly other things, that is, (adverbially) contrariwise (in many relations).
the x3588
(3588) Complement

ho
{ho}
The masculine, feminine (second) and neuter (third) forms, in all their inflections; the definite article; the (sometimes to be supplied, at others omitted, in English idiom).
Spirit 4151
{4151} Prime
πνεῦμα
pneuma
{pnyoo'-mah}
From G4154; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle, mental disposition, etc., or (superhuman) an angel, daemon, or (divine) God, Christ's spirit, the Holy spirit.
itself y846
[0846] Standard
αὐτός
autos
{ow-tos'}
From the particle αὖ [[au]] (perhaps akin to the base of G0109 through the idea of a baffling wind; backward); the reflexive pronoun self, used (alone or in the compound of G1438) of the third person, and (with the proper personal pronoun) of the other persons.
x848
(0848) Complement
αὑτοῦ
hautou
{how-too'}
Contraction for G1438; self (in some oblique case or reflexive relation).
maketh intercession 5241
{5241} Prime
ὑπερεντυγχάνω
huperentugchano
{hoop-er-en-toong-khan'-o}
From G5228 and G1793; to intercede in behalf of.
z5719
<5719> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Active (See G5784)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 3019
for 5228
{5228} Prime
ὑπέρ
huper
{hoop-er'}
A primary preposition; 'over', that is, (with the genitive case) of place, above, beyond, across, or causal, for the sake of, instead, regarding; with the accusative case superior to, more than. In compounds it retains many of the listed applications.
us 2257
{2257} Prime
ἡμῶν
hemon
{hay-mone'}
Genitive plural of G1473; of (or from) us.
with groanings 4726
{4726} Prime
στεναγμός
stenagmos
{sten-ag-mos'}
From G4727; a sigh.
which cannot be uttered. 215
{0215} Prime
ἀλάλητος
alaletos
{al-al'-ay-tos}
From G0001 (as a negative particle) and a derivative of G2980; unspeakable.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Romans 8:26-27

_ _ Likewise the Spirit also, etc. — or, “But after the like manner doth the Spirit also help.

_ _ our infirmities — rather (according to the true reading), “our infirmity”; not merely the one infirmity here specified, but the general weakness of the spiritual life in its present state, of which one example is here given.

_ _ for we know not what we should pray for as we ought — It is not the proper matter of prayer that believers are at so much loss about, for the fullest directions are given them on this head: but to ask for the right things “as they ought” is the difficulty. This arises partly from the dimness of our spiritual vision in the present veiled state, while we have to “walk by faith, not by sight” (see on 1 Corinthians 13:9 and see on 2 Corinthians 5:7), and the large admixture of the ideas and feelings which spring from the fleeting objects of sense that there is in the very best views and affections of our renewed nature; partly also from the necessary imperfection of all human language as a vehicle for expressing the subtle spiritual feelings of the heart. In these circumstances, how can it be but that much uncertainty should surround all our spiritual exercises, and that in our nearest approaches and in the freest outpourings of our hearts to our Father in heaven, doubts should spring up within us whether our frame of mind in such exercises is altogether befitting and well pleasing to God? Nor do these anxieties subside, but rather deepen, with the depth and ripeness of our spiritual experience.

_ _ but the Spirit itself — rather, “Himself.” (See end of Romans 8:27).

_ _ maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered — that is, which cannot be expressed in articulate language. Sublime and affecting ideas, for which we are indebted to this passage alone! “As we struggle to express in articulate language the desires of our hearts and find that our deepest emotions are the most inexpressible, we ‘groan’ under this felt inability. But not in vain are these groanings. For ‘the Spirit Himself’ is in them, giving to the emotions which He Himself has kindled the only language of which they are capable; so that though on our part they are the fruit of impotence to utter what we feel, they are at the same time the intercession of the Spirit Himself in our behalf.”

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Romans 8:26-28

_ _ The apostle here suggests two privileges more to which true Christians are entitled: —

_ _ I. The help of the Spirit in prayer. While we are in this world, hoping and waiting for what we see not, we must be praying. Hope supposes desire, and that desire offered up to God is prayer; we groan. Now observe,

_ _ 1. Our weakness in prayer: We know not what we should pray for as we ought. (1.) As to the matter of our requests, we know not what to ask. We are not competent judges of our own condition. Who knows what is good for a man in this life? Ecclesiastes 6:12. We are short-sighted, and very much biassed in favour of the flesh, and apt to separate the end from the way. You know not what you ask, Matthew 20:22. We are like foolish children, that are ready to cry for fruit before it is ripe and fit for them; see Luke 9:54, Luke 9:55. (2.) As to the manner, we know not how to pray as we ought. It is not enough that we do that which is good, but we must do it well, seek in a due order; and here we are often at a loss — graces are weak, affections cold, thoughts wandering, and it is not always easy to find the heart to pray, 2 Samuel 7:27. The apostle speaks of this in the first person: We know not. He puts himself among the rest. Folly, and weakness, and distraction in prayer, are what all the saints are complaining of. If so great a saint as Paul knew not what to pray for, what little reason have we to go forth about that duty in our own strength!

_ _ 2. The assistances which the Spirit gives us in that duty. He helps our infirmities, meant especially of our praying infirmities, which most easily beset us in that duty, against which the Spirit helps. The Spirit in the world helps; many rules and promises there are in the word for our help. The Spirit in the heart helps, dwelling in us, working in us, as a Spirit of grace and supplication, especially with respect to the infirmities we are under when we are in a suffering state, when our faith is most apt to fail; for this end the Holy Ghost was poured out. Helpeth, sumantilambanetaiheaves with us, over against us, helps as we help one that would lift up a burden, by lifting over against him at the other end — helps with us, that is, with us doing our endeavour, putting forth the strength we have. We must not sit still, and expect that the Spirit should do all; when the Spirit goes before us we must bestir ourselves. We cannot without God, and he will not without us. What help? Why, the Spirit itself makes intercession for us, dictates our requests, indites our petitions, draws up our plea for us. Christ intercedes for us in heaven, the Spirit intercedes for us in our hearts; so graciously has God provided for the encouragement of the praying remnant. The Spirit, as an enlightening Spirit, teaches us what to pray for, as a sanctifying Spirit works and excites praying graces, as a comforting Spirit silences our fears, and helps us over all our discouragements. The Holy Spirit is the spring of all our desires and breathings towards God. Now this intercession which the Spirit makes is, (1.) With groanings that cannot be uttered. The strength and fervency of those desires which the Holy Spirit works are hereby intimated. There may be praying in the Spirit where there is not a word spoken; as Moses prayed (Exodus 14:15), and Hannah, 1 Samuel 1:13. It is not the rhetoric and eloquence, but the faith and fervency, of our prayers, that the Spirit works, as an intercessor, in us. Cannot be uttered; they are so confused, the soul is in such a hurry with temptations and troubles, we know not what to say, nor how to express ourselves. Here is the Spirit interceding with groans that cannot be uttered. When we can but cry, Abba, Father, and refer ourselves to him with a holy humble boldness, this is the work of the Spirit. (2.) According to the will of God, Romans 8:27. The Spirit in the heart never contradicts the Spirit in the word. Those desires that are contrary to the will of God do not come from the Spirit. The Spirit interceding in us evermore melts our wills into the will of God. Not as I will, but as thou wilt.

_ _ 3. The sure success of these intercessions: He that searches the heart knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, Romans 8:27. To a hypocrite, all whose religion lies in his tongue, nothing is more dreadful than that God searches the heart and sees through all his disguises. To a sincere Christian, who makes heart-work of his duty, nothing is more comfortable than that God searches the heart, for then he will hear and answer those desires which we want words to express. He knows what we have need of before we ask, Matthew 6:8. He knows what is the mind of his own Spirit in us. And, as he always hears the Son interceding for us, so he always hears the Spirit interceding in us, because his intercession is according to the will of God. What could have been done more for the comfort of the Lord's people, in all their addresses to God? Christ had said, “Whatever you ask the Father according to his will he will give it you.” But how shall we learn to ask according to his will? Why, the Spirit will teach us that. Therefore it is that the seed of Jacob never seek in vain.

_ _ II. The concurrence of all providences for the good of those that are Christ's, Romans 8:28. It might be objected that, notwithstanding all these privileges, we see believers compassed about with manifold afflictions; though the Spirit makes intercession for them, yet their troubles are continued. It is very true; but in this the Spirit's intercession is always effectual, that, however it goes with them, all this is working together for their good. Observe here.

_ _ 1. The character of the saints, who are interested in this privilege; they are here described by such properties as are common to all that are truly sanctified. (1.) They love God. This includes all the out-goings of the soul's affections towards God as the chief good and highest end. It is our love to God that makes every providence sweet, and therefore profitable. Those that love God make the best of all he does, and take all in good part. (2.) They are the called according to his purpose, effectually called according to the eternal purpose. The call is effectual, not according to any merit or desert of ours, but according to God's own gracious purpose.

_ _ 2. The privilege of the saints, that all things work together for good to them, that is, all the providences of God that concern them. All that God performs he performs for them, Psalms 57:2. Their sins are not of his performing, therefore not intended here, though his permitting sin is made to work for their good, 2 Chronicles 32:31. But all the providences of God are theirs — merciful providences, afflicting providences, personal, public. They are all for good; perhaps for temporal good, as Joseph's troubles; at least, for spiritual and eternal good. That is good for them which does their souls good. Either directly or indirectly, every providence has a tendency to the spiritual good of those that love God, breaking them off from sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, fitting them for heaven. Work together. They work, as physic works upon the body, various ways, according to the intention of the physician; but all for the patient's good. They work together, as several ingredients in a medicine concur to answer the intention. God hath set the one over against the other (Ecclesiastes 7:14): sunergei, a very singular, with a noun plural, denoting the harmony of Providence and its uniform designs, all the wheels as one wheel, Ezekiel 10:13. He worketh all things together for good; so some read it. It is not from any specific quality in the providences themselves, but from the power and grace of God working in, with, and by, these providences. All this we know — know it for a certainty, from the word of God, from our own experience, and from the experience of all the saints.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Romans 8:26

Likewise the Spirit — Nay, not only the universe, not only the children of God, but the Spirit of God also himself, as it were, groaneth, while he helpeth our infirmities, or weaknesses. Our understandings are weak, particularly in the things of God our desires are weak; our prayers are weak. We know not — Many times. What we should pray for — Much less are we able to pray for it as we ought: but the Spirit maketh intercession for us — In our hearts, even as Christ does in heaven. With groanings — The matter of which is from ourselves, but the Spirit forms them; and they are frequently inexpressible, even by the faithful themselves.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Romans 8:26

(24) Likewise the Spirit also (g) helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh (h) intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

(24) Seventhly, there is no reason why we should faint under the burden of afflictions, seeing that prayers minister to us a most sure help: which cannot be frustrated, seeing that they proceed from the Spirit of God who dwells in us.

(g) Bears our burden, as it were, so that we do not faint under it.

(h) Incites us to pray, and tells us as it were within, what we will say, and how we will speak.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
infirmities:

Romans 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
2 Corinthians 12:5-10 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities. ... Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Hebrews 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.
Hebrews 5:2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

for we:

Matthew 20:22 But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Luke 11:1-13 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. ... If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall [your] heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.

but:

Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Psalms 10:17 LORD, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear:
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.
Matthew 10:20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Galatians 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Ephesians 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Jude 1:20-21 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, ... Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

with:

Romans 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Psalms 6:3 My soul is also sore vexed: but thou, O LORD, how long?
Psalms 6:9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
Psalms 42:1-5 [[To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.]] As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. ... Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance.
Psalms 55:1-2 [[To the chief Musician on Neginoth, Maschil, [A Psalm] of David.]] Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication. ... Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise;
Psalms 69:3 I am weary of my crying: my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God.
Psalms 77:1-3 [[To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.]] I cried unto God with my voice, [even] unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. ... I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.
Psalms 88:1-3 [[A Song [or] Psalm for the sons of Korah, to the chief Musician upon Mahalath Leannoth, Maschil of Heman the Ezrahite.]] O LORD God of my salvation, I have cried day [and] night before thee: ... For my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave.
Psalms 102:5 By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin.
Psalms 102:20 To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death;
Psalms 119:81 CAPH. My soul fainteth for thy salvation: [but] I hope in thy word.
Psalms 119:82 Mine eyes fail for thy word, saying, When wilt thou comfort me?
Psalms 143:4-7 Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate. ... Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit.
Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
2 Corinthians 5:2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:
2 Corinthians 5:4 For we that are in [this] tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.
2 Corinthians 12:8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
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Ps 6:3, 9; 10:17; 42:1; 55:1; 69:3; 77:1; 88:1; 102:5, 20; 119:81, 82; 143:4. Zc 12:10. Mt 10:20; 20:22. Lk 11:1; 22:44. Ro 7:24; 8:15; 15:1. 2Co 5:2, 4; 12:5, 8. Ga 4:6. Ep 2:18; 6:18. He 4:15; 5:2. Jm 4:3. Jde 1:20.

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