Romans 8: 26-28 (Translation The Message)
“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
I recently started reading “The Message” translation of the Bible. At first, I thought it was a paraphrase of the original Hebrew and Greek and not very accurate but I was wrong. This translation was written by Rev. Eugene Petersen in words that he felt better reflected the original intent of the Hebrew and Greek. Scholars have said it is accurate and faithful to the original.
I find it mind-bending. Passages that I have looked at for years are broken open to me in this particular translation.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is one of the most important books in the Bible for understanding Christian Theology. It is also one of the most difficult to understand. Reread the translation above. Now read the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version below)
Romans 8: 26-28 (Translation New Revised Standard Version)
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes[q] with sighs too deep for words. 27 And God,[r] who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit[s] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.[t]
I must confess, one of my favorite lines is “that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words” but I get the translation from the message on a visceral level. If we don’t know what to pray, it doesn’t matter because he does our praying for us. All we need to do is ask for help even when we have no idea what to pray for!
God is always working for the good. It’s not up to us. We do what we are called to do and have faith that the love of God is working with us.
We don’t have to worry because God knows us better than we know ourselves. Trust God and everything will be well.