The Spirit and Prayer: Romans 8:26–27

By John Herbert, V

The work of the Spirit is a prominent theme in Romans 8. Romans 8:26 and 27 are the final explicit installment in Paul’s discussion of the ministry of the Spirit, and the main focus of these two verses is prayer. “No passage of Scripture provides greater encouragement for prayer. The Spirit comes to the aid of believers baffled by the perplexity of prayer and takes their concerns to God with an intensity far greater than we could ever imagine.”

Paul’s statement in these two verses is intended to be one of encouragement to believers through their time in this depraved body on earth. The truths of these verses may be mystifying at times, but through careful study one will find that they are indeed encouraging.

The work of the Spirit described in these two verses is the second in a string of three truth statements designed to help sustain believers. Because of depravity, believers are not capable of knowing what to pray unless God’s will is explicitly stated. However, in these two verses Paul encourages believers because the Spirit is interceding as only he and the Father understand, and it is through this ministry that intercession is made according to God’s will, on behalf of the believer.

Romans 8:26

Paul begins his statement on prayer and the Holy Spirit with the declaration that the Spirit helps us with our weaknesses. Paul begins with the word hosautos, which means “(in) the same (way), similarly, likewise.” The Spirit helps the believer’s infirmities similarly to something in the preceding context. “Strange as it may seem, the contextual considerations have little or no bearing on the actual interpretation of the verses themselves.” Although the actual interpretation may not change, it will change how one views the structure of the chapter, thus affecting the understanding as a whole.

One interpretive option is that “likewise” could refer back to “groanings” found in vv. 22 and 23; the creation groans, we groan, and the Spirit groans. This is an appealing option that is supported by a number of commentators. There are, however, at least two difficulties with this position. First, both creation and believers are groaning because of depravity in vv. 22 and 23. In v. 26, however, it is the Spirit that is interceding with his groanings; he is not affected by depravity. Second, the phrase “inexpressible groanings”  (stenagmois alalatois) comes at the end of the sentence rather than towards the beginning, making a leap from “likewise” possible but not probable.

A second option is that “likewise” refers to the actions of the Spirit throughout the chapter. The chapter is filled with how the Spirit works in the life of the believer (vv. 2, 11, 13, 14, 16); because it is so pervasive, this line of reasoning is also appealing. The reasoning behind this option is: “The Spirit helps here, here and here . . . and likewise the Spirit helps with our infirmities.” However, once again, there are at least two difficulties with this option. First, this line of reasoning does not fulfill the idea of “likewise” or “in the same manner.” Since “likewise” is a comparative conjunction, it indicates a comparison to something previously mentioned rather than continuing a line of argumentation as other conjunctions such as de (“but”) or kai (“and”) would indicate. Both de and kai are used in conjunction with hosautos in v. 26 to introduce the verse which might indicate a continuation of argument, but with the addition of hosautos, which is used much less frequently in the New Testament, the comparison idea becomes prominent. This forces the reader to wonder how the Spirit’s help compares with the previous context. In addition, this interpretation would argue that Paul intended the reader to link this statement back to the entire preceding context, but the entire context lacks a good antecedent for comparison. It is better to see hosautos as referring back to its immediately preceding context which has a good antecedent for a point of comparison.

A variant of this option is to refer “likewise” back to v. 16 – “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.” “In other words, Paul is saying: ‘Just as the Spirit is at work within our hearts to confirm to us our adoption (8:16), so in the same way also the Spirit is at work within our hearts to bear up our weakness (8:26).’” Smith argues that the parallel struc­ture between v. 16 and v. 26 supports this view. 1 Pet 2:13 and 3:1 use a similar word and bridge a large portion of scripture; this example demonstrates that “likewise” in Rom 8:26 could refer all the way back to v. 16.

The fourth option is to refer “likewise” back to its immediately preceding context, that of hope. Believers were saved in the hope that their bodies would be redeemed and that one day they would be released from this depraved state. This hope helps believers as they are waiting patiently for this redemption. “In a similar way,” the Spirit helps believers through intercession while they are waiting for this redemption, because they cannot in depraved bodies always know what to pray. Morris argues against this saying that since “the Spirit is at work in the time of hope, it is better to see the meaning as joining one work of the Spirit to another.” However, the Spirit is not mentioned as the one who produces the hope in vv. 24–25. Even if it is the Spirit who produces this hope, it would actually strengthen the argument for this fourth view, especially with regards to “likewise,” to say that the Spirit works in hope (cf. 5:5) to sustain us and “likewise” helps our weakness.

The third and fourth views are the two best options. The debate between these views really revolves around this: is it better to place the emphasis on one subject (the Spirit) and two actions (“bears witness with our witness” and “helps our weakness”); or, is it better to place the emphasis on one antecedent (“weakness”) and then two agents of “helping” (“help through hope” and “help through the Spirit”)?

The latter is best for three reasons. First, in Smith’s view, the Spirit’s working “in the same way” in hearts between v. 16 and v. 26 is vague. There is no point in saying that the Spirit works in hearts just as the Spirit works in hearts. Second, the previous context indicates that it is the weakness of the depraved state of men that the Spirit is helping in v. 26. Third, vv. 28–30 continue this theme of helping to actually make it three agents of helping. The 28–30 section is a separate sub-unit in the broader section of 18–30, distinct from 26–27, but tied together with a common theme. It could be argued that vv. 28–30 recount another ministry of the Spirit helping in our weakness and thus seeing de as adversative to what has been said in the previous two verses. In this case, the contrast would be between “we do not know” (v. 26) and “we do know” (v. 28). This interpretation would make v. 28 a subordinating thought to the head phrase of v. 26. The other option is that de could be parallel to verse 26 and therefore just a continuation of thought. This seems to be best. The content of these three verses is not speaking about a weakness with which the believer is struggling. Rather these three verses provide another encouraging truth statement that will help the believer through times of suffering. Therefore, vv. 28–30 seem to be a separate unit parallel in thought to vv. 26–27 and tied together by being two statements of truth designed to help believers in this life and especially in times of suffering. That being said, the passage then becomes a discussion of the believers’ state of depravity and multiple ways in which they are helped through that state, namely: hope, the Spirit’s intercession, and knowledge that all things work together for good to believers. For these reasons, it seems best to conclude that the emphasis is on one antecedent (weakness) with three methods of helping or aid.

What is the nature of the Spirit’s helping? The word sunantilambanetai means “to come to the aid of, be of assistance to, help.” Both Dunn and Moo observe that this word appears in the Septuagint in the story of Moses receiving help from the 70 elders and in Psalm 89:2, and in the New Testament story of Mary and Martha where Martha would like help preparing. Moo thinks the word “connotes ‘joining with to help,’ ‘bearing a burden along with.’” As Mitchell indicates, this term does not mean “carry all of the burden,” but as it has been shown indicates assistance or aid. “The basic thought is that the Spirit assists in close coordination or in accompaniment with the saints.” Thus as Harrison and Hagner put it, “prayer is the work of the Christian and the Spirit who helps.” The reason the Spirit assists in coming alongside the believer is because there are times when the believer does not know what to pray.

This weakness that the Spirit is helping is the depravity of man although some would see this weakness being in prayer since this is what follows. However, the previous context which speaks of believers groaning while waiting for the redemption of their bodies would indicate that the weakness believers suffer from is their depravity.  The entire previous section develops the curse as a result of sin that is on nature and men, and it is the redemption from this weakness for which believers are hoping (vv. 24–25). A natural result of this weakness is the need for help in prayer, specifically the lack of understanding God’s will because of depravity. Thus prayer would be “one such manifestation” of the weakness. This weakness is “the totality of the human condition . . . which the believer is still part of and which comes to expression in prayer inability.” Finally, Morris makes a good point that the Spirit does not remove the weakness; “it is still there, and we live our whole life in conditions of weakness. What the Spirit does is to help; he gives us the aid we need to see us through.” Moo similarly says that instead of telling us to get rid of our weakness in some way, “Paul points us to the Spirit of God, who overcomes this weakness by his own intercession.”

For we know not what we should pray for as we ought

This phrase should be understood as “we do not know what to pray as it is necessary” rather than “we do not know how to pray as it is necessary.” Ti should be taken as “what” for several reasons. First, that the Spirit helps believers through intercession in accordance to the will of God indicates he is interceding in regards to content, not interceding because believers are doing it incorrectly. Second, Jesus taught his disciples how to pray which means there is no excuse for not knowing how to pray. Third, “Paul does not expressly say that the justified do not know ‘how to pray,’ for he does not use the word pos . . . as in v. 32.”

Both Schreiner and Moo hint that the problem in prayer for believers is that they do not do so “according to the will of God.” The katho dei  means “as is proper” or if ti is taken as “what,” as is assumed here, it could mean “what ideally ought to be the content.” Some take katho dei and make it parallel with kata theon in v. 27. In fact, Dunn says, “That katho dei  here is more or less equivalent to kata theon in v 27 is generally recognized.” This may seem like a stretch to some since; although katho and kata look similar, they are two different words. Regardless, the parallel thought can be seen even in English: “Even though believers do not know what to pray as they should, the Spirit intercedes for them according to the will of God.”

One cannot make the conclusion from this that believers never know what to pray. There are obviously prayers in scripture that can be prayed, there are truths in scripture that can be prayed, and so there are events that occur which can be prayed for according to truth and with confidence that it is God’s desire. On the other hand, there are times where believers do not know God’s will and so they do not know what to pray especially in times of suffering (vv. 18–25). But Paul’s use is more universal than just times of suffering. He is speaking of the time of our weakness, our life under the curse of sin, which prevents us from always knowing the will of the God.

It may be that Paul’s mind returns to his own prayer to remove his “thorn in the flesh” which turned out to not be in accordance with God’s will. Schreiner says, “The weakness of believers in prayer, therefore, is that they do not have an adequate grasp of what God’s will is when they pray.” Moo would concur and argues that although believers should strive to understand God’s will, this verse “does mean that we cannot presume to identify our petitions with the will of God.” Therefore, it would seem that as Osborne points out, the prayer of the believer should follow the pattern of Christ’s prayer in the garden of Gethsemane “nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt” (Mark 14:36).

Mounce thinks that it is “when our lack of faith undermines certainty in prayer, the Spirit himself intercedes on our behalf.” His statement is incorrect in two aspects. First, he leaves open the option that the believer’s faith is such that there are times when the Spirit does not need to intercede. If there ever is a time when this is the case, it is probably not because of great faith as it is so much an alignment of prayer with the will of God. Certainly there are times when the believer indeed prays in alignment with God’s will. Nevertheless, if believers are the people of Rom 1:28 who are not capable of “assessing the truth about God and the world he has made” with the exception of now being saved with all its benefits including the indwelling of the Spirit, then it would follow that any time that prayer aligns with God’s will would be only through the working of the Spirit. Additionally, a scan of 1 Cor 2 would indicate that the understanding of anything spiritual would result from the work of the Spirit. Secondly, Mounce brings faith into the picture when faith is not even mentioned in the passage. The issue for believers here is not about faith but about knowledge.

It has also been said that this difficulty in prayer can arise from the “necessary imperfection of all human language as a vehicle for expressing the subtle spiritual feelings of the heart.” However, as nice as this sounds, this statement probably misses the point altogether. The difficulty is not in the inability to express prayer; rather the difficulty is not even knowing what to pray.

But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

The alla (“but”) is contrastive, making this phrase parallel in thought to the previous one. Although believers do not always know what to pray for, the Spirit is always there to intercede on their behalf. Two interesting parts of this phrase are the use of huperentugxanei and the nature of stenagmois alalatois.

The word huperentugxanei is a hapax legomena and “is not known to occur in any Greek writer before the Christian era.” The use of the entugxanei without the prefix is found elsewhere in scripture and within this passage it is found in v. 27 and v. 34 speaking of Christ’s intercession for believers. Both of these uses actually have the prefix huper following entugxanei indicating the intercession is “on behalf of” believers. Because huperentugxanei is not used elsewhere, it could be that the purpose of using this word is to focus on huper, placing the emphasis on the idea that this intercession is “on behalf of” the believer. Such determination is speculative since it is a hapax legomena, but Rosscup agrees saying that it “adds to other emphases in the context that encourage believers by God’s forthright action for them.”

The phrase stenagmois alalatois is more difficult to deter­mine theologically. It is translated “groanings which cannot be uttered” (KJV), “groanings too deep for words” (ESV), or “wordless groans” (NIV). Two questions arise. Whose groanings are they and what is the nature of them? Some suggest that this speaks of glossolalia either publically or privately, but if it can be shown that the groanings actually belong to the Spirit, then this theory has no footing.

Chrysostom believed that the “Spirit” in this passage actually refers to the one in the church who had the gift of prayer. Therefore, this person who was gifted to pray would make intercession for the entire church. He says, “Spirit then is the name that he gives here to the grace of this character, and the soul that receiveth the grace, and intercedeth to God, and groaneth.” The difficulty with this view is that the entire chapter discusses the working of the Spirit in the life of the believer and to take this view, one would have to justify a similar process throughout the chapter. Also, there is no precedent to take pneuma in this way nor is there a need to do so. Therefore, since pneuma speaks of the Holy Spirit, do the stenagmois alalatois belong to the Holy Spirit or to believers? Because the gift of tongues only belonged to certain people, but since everyone has this ministry of the Spirit, this must mean that glossolalia is not in view here and the Spirit is the one who is groaning, not believers.

The question then becomes, what is the nature of these groanings? Are they inexpressible in that they cannot be put into words or just unexpressed in that they just are not put into words? It really could be either option. The only other place a word close to this is used is in 1 Peter 1:8 in reference to “joy unspeakable.” The word aneklalatos means “pertaining to what cannot be uttered or expressed—‘what cannot be expressed in words.’” The term here would not speak of joy that is capable of being spoken, but just is not. Rather this would speak of joy which cannot be expressed in the sense that the description of the joy cannot be put into words, or the joy is so great that words cannot describe it. Also, audible words are not heard from the Spirit and groans would not be considered expressible language. The argument for “inexpressible,” so that it can refer to glossolalia, should not frighten us away from this option being attributed to the Spirit since they are obviously his.

Against this line of thinking would be the argument that the groans are “unuttered” in which case they would not need to be expressible. Rosscup argues that “the Spirit’s groans are unuttered, because he does not need words to communicate with the Father at the throne.” The problem with this is twofold. First, the Spirit would not have groans attributed to him if they are just unuttered, unless the groans were similar to v. 23 where believers “groan within ourselves.” Second, this argument could apply to either option. It could also be said that since the Spirit and the Father do not need words to communicate then the fact that the groanings cannot be expressed in words does not matter. Either way, the groanings, whether metaphorical as in v. 23 or not, belong to the Spirit, are his unique way of intercession on the behalf of believers and are “a ministry of intercession . . . in a manner imperceptible to us.”

Believers are still waiting for the redemption of their bodies and are thus in a depraved state. Hope is one of the sustaining factors through this life. A second factor is the help of the Spirit in prayer overcoming the weakness of the believer since believers are incapable of know exactly what to pray for in some circumstances. However, the Spirit makes intercession in behalf of believers with a language unknown to them but understood by God.

Romans 8:27

The gar of v. 26b subordinates to 26a which tells us what we do not know. The alla of v. 26c is contrasting the gar with how the Spirit will help believers. The de . . . oiden here is a continuation of that contrast with an “and God knows” statement which reflects back to the fact that believers do not know (v. 26). Also, as Harrison and Hagner note, v. 27 helps to clarify v. 26. Although the Spirit is interceding with groans that are inexpressible, God always knows the mind of the Spirit and knows that he intercedes according to the will of God.

“The one who searches the hearts” is a reference to God the Father. This is rarely if ever disputed, although many commentators do note that Christ is the one who searches the hearts in Revelation 2:23. However, Christ’s searching of the hearts is for the purpose of judgment, whereas here the focus is on the comfort and hope that comes from the fact that God knows the heart of the believer. That God the Father is the one to whom intercession would be made and “is the only one who can be thus described” is reason enough to leave this as a reference to God the Father rather than Christ or anyone else.

Because kardias is plural it is reasonable to assume that this must not be referencing the heart of the Spirit but the heart of believers in whom the Spirit dwells. This is interesting because not only does God search the hearts, but he also knows the mind of the Spirit.

God knows the heart of the believer. Martin Lloyd-Jones says of this, “He knows all about our feelings, all about our desires. I know of nothing which gives greater comfort and consolation than this realization.” Mitchell argues that the ability to search the human heart validates God’s qualification to search his own Spirit. This is the same view of Cranfield who says, “Implicit in its use here is the thought that, since God searches the secrets of men’s hearts, He must a fortiori be supposed to know the unspoken desires of His own Spirit.” However, Rosscup says, “Hearts are mentioned because that is where the Spirit indwells (vv. 8, 11), and the innermost central place where he ministers (cf. Eph. 3:16–17).” Perhaps Mitchell and Rosscup are both correct. That God has the ability to know the spirit of man would be considered harder than knowing his own Spirit; this qualifies him to know the mind of the Spirit. Also, since the Spirit ministers within believers, God searching the heart not only would give him access to the heart that does not know what to pray but also to the Spirit who is interceding for the believer.

To make this an even better situation, the next phrase says that God also knows the mind of the Spirit. It is as if Paul is saying, “God knows your heart but he also knows the mind of the Spirit, so do not worry if you are not sure what to pray.” phronema is used only in Romans 8 in this way, and it is used with a “focus on strong intention aim, aspiration, striving.” Mitchell says, “In short, God perceives the intent of the Spirit’s intercession that is hidden in those unuttered groans.”

Because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

This hoti clause is difficult because it could be translated either causally “because” or epexegetically “that.” Moo argues for causal saying, “God knows what the Spirit intends, and there is perfect harmony between the two, because it is in accordance with God’s will that the Spirit intercedes for the saints.” Deibler says that although there are arguments for both, the better argument is for “that” saying “it would hardly be true that God would know the mind of the Spirit only for the reason given (his intercession).” Morris, Dunn, and Schreiner agree it does not matter which you choose and the latter two think that it does not change the meaning of the verse that much, if at all.

This last view is correct, to a point, in that most of the interpretation is not going to be affected greatly. However, it does have some impact, and the better of the two seems to be the epexegetical, even though every English translation uses a causal use, for the following reasons. Deibler’s argument (also mentioned in Morris) is a good one, for the intercession of the Spirit would not be the reason that God knows the mind of the Spirit. Also, although Moo argues that the fronted position of kata theon might indicate “because,” it is actually a better argument for “that”; the argument should not be, “God knows that the Spirit intercedes.” Rather the fronted kata theon indicates that “according to God” is the key especially since intercession for the saints was the topic of discussion in the previous verse. Therefore, the argument should be that “God knows that the intercession is in accordance with his will.” “That” indicates more expressly the content or nature of the mind of the Spirit and therefore his intercession, namely, that it is in accordance with the will of God. Thus, when the Spirit intercedes, he already knows the mind of the Spirit and knows that it is in accordance with his will. “That” points out that the content and nature of the Spirit’s mind and intercession are in accordance with his will. Therefore, even though both express this nature, “that” avoids the dilemma created by “because” and points out the nature of the intercession better.

It is appropriate to translate kata theon as “according to the will of God” as most translations and commentators do “since, by implication, God’s will is simply an expression of God, God himself in action.” As mentioned above, this is the important portion of the phrase signifying the nature of the intercession. Rosscup says, “due to human weakness, God’s people do not know what the Spirit’s perfect knowledge perceives is best, what is in concord with God’s will.” The Spirit is always in agreement with God; to have an intercessor always in agreement with the answerer of the prayers means that the prayer of the Spirit will always be answered and answered according to God’s will. Moo concludes,

I take it that Paul is saying, then, that our failure to know God’s will and consequent inability to petition God specifically and assuredly is met by God’s Spirit, who himself expresses to God those intercessory petitions that perfectly match the will of God. When we do not know what to pray for — yes, even when we pray for things that are not best for us — we need not despair, for we can depend on the Spirit’s ministry of perfect intercession “on our behalf.”

The conclusion here is that believers never know when they pray if it is God’s will, unless it has been specifically revealed as such in scripture. The assurance and joy, though, is that in these times when the believer does not know what to pray, the Spirit will intercede according to God’s will for believers so that they always have an effective intercessor.

This is the only text in the NT that describes the Spirit as an intercessor and once again the word entugxano is used, except this time the prefix huper is found after the verb. The Spirit is interceding for believers – the saints. What a comfort to know that both God the Son and God the Spirit are interceding with God the Father on behalf of believers, one while at the Father’s right hand and the other while indwelling the believer.

The preposition huper is found throughout the following verses. The Spirit “on behalf of us” intercedes (v. 26), the Spirit intercedes “on behalf of” the saints (v. 27), God is “for” us (v. 31), God gave his Son “for us” (v. 32), and Christ intercedes “for us” (v. 34). What a great truth for believers to rest in, knowing that they are fighting against the world, the flesh, and the devil.


Just as hope (vv. 24–25) and the knowledge that all things work together for good (vv. 28–30) sustain the believer in this life, so this final explicitly stated working of the Spirit in Romans 8 also sustains the believer. The inability to know what to pray when God’s will is not explicitly stated is one of the weaknesses that believers will always have plaguing them, but in this weakness the Spirit comes to their aid. The Spirit’s unique ministry is understood by God even though the Spirit intercedes with inexpressible groanings. This is because since God knows the hearts of believers, he can certainly know his own Spirit’s mind who is also working within the hearts of those believers. The joy for the saint is that even though he may not know what is correct to pray, because he does not know the will of God in a matter, the Spirit is always intercedes according to the will of God for the believer during those times. This ought to change the prayer life of a believer, knowing that all prayers should be submitted to the will of God as in the example of Christ in Gethsemane (Matt 26:36–39), and knowing that the Spirit is interceding according to the will of God in their weakness.

 Robert H. Mounce, Romans, The New American Commen­tary 27 (Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 1995), 187.

W. Arndt, F. W. Danker, W. Bauer, & F. W. Gingrich, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 3rd ed., 2000), 1106.

Curtis Mitchell, “The Holy Spirit’s Intercessory Ministry,” Bibliotheca Sacra 139.555 (July 1982): 231.

James D. G. Dunn, Romans 1–8, Word Biblical Commen­tary 38 (Dallas: Thomas Nelson, 1988), 476.

 Douglas J. Moo, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996), 523.

Dan Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), 761–762.

In actuality it would point back to multiple antecedents for a comparison. The argument would have to be “just as the Spirit previous helped believers so he is now helping them again.” However, this does not indicate the manner or really fulfill the comparative idea of hosautos.

If this view were to be accepted, it would be best to see it in conjunction with another one as the following view does or as Harrison and Hagner do by viewing it as the last ministry of the Spirit directly mentioned in the chapter as well as referring directly back to hope. Everett Harrison and Donald Hagner, Romans–Galatians, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary 11 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2008), 139.

Geoffrey Smith, “The Function of ‘likewise’ (ΩΣΑΥΤΩΣ) in Romans 8:26,” Tyndale Bulletin 49:1 (1998), 33–34; and, Gordon D. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: The Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul (Peabody, Mass.: Paternoster, 2001), 576.

Smith, “The Function of ‘likewise,’” 33.

See Smith, “The Function of ‘likewise,’” for his full argument.

Ibid., 33–36.

See Moo, The Epistle to the Romans; Murray, The Epistle to the Romans: the English Text with Introduction, Exposition, and Notes (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980) 310–11; Thomas R. Schreiner, Romans (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 1998), 442; Mounce, Romans, 186; Ellis W. Deibler, A Semantic and Structural Analysis of Romans (Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1998), 193; Marcus Loane, The Hope of Glory: An Exposition of the Eighth Chapter in the Epistle to the Romans (Waco: Word, 1969), 99–100.

Leon Morris, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988), 326.

Many commentators translate it this way including Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 527; Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, 314; and Dunn, Romans 1–8, 480.

BDAG, 965.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 523; Dunn, Romans 1–8, 477.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 523.

Mitchell, “The Holy Spirit’s Intercessory Ministry,” 232.

James E. Roscupp, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” Masters Seminary Journal 10.1 (Spring 1999): 146.

Harrison and Hagner, Romans, 140.

See e.g. Dunn, Romans 1–8, 477; Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 523; John Murray, The Epistle to the Romans, 311; Schreiner, Romans, 442; Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 326.

Mounce, Romans, 186; and Alva J. McClain, Romans: the Gospel of God’s Grace (Nashville: BMH, 1989), 167.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 326

Dunn, Romans 1–8, 477.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 326.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 524.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 148.

BDAG, 214.

Roscupp, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 149.

C.E.B. Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, Vol. 1, International Critical Commen­tary (New York: T&T Clark, 2004), 421.

Dunn, Romans 1–8, 477.

Roscupp, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 148.

Schreiner, Romans, 443.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 524.

Grant R. Osborne, Romans (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2004), 217.

Mounce, Romans, 186.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 757.

R. Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, & D. Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc. 1997), Rom 8:26–27.

Cranfield, On the Epistle to the Romans, 423.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 153–154.

Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, 240–42. Fee, God’s Empowering Presence: the Holy Spirit in the Letters of Paul, 580.

John Chrysostom, “Homilies of St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinople, on the Epistle of St. Paul to the Romans.”


J.P. Louw and E.A. Nida, Vol. 1: Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (2nd ed.) (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 399.

This seems to be one of the reasons Moo argues for “unspoken.” The Epistle to the Romans, 524–25.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 157.

Moo, The Epistle to the Romans, 526.


Harrison and Hagner, The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, 139–140.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 329; Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 526.

Robert L. Thomas, Revelation 1–7: An Exegetical Commen­tary (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1992), 223–224.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 329. Cf. Ps 7:9; Prov 17:3; Acts 1:24; and 1 Thes 2:4.

D. M. Lloyd-Jones, Romans: An Exposition of Chapter 8:17–39: The Final Perseverance of the Saints (Grand Rapids: Zonder­van, 1976), 139.

Mitchell, “The Holy Spirit’s Intercessory Ministry,” 237–238.

Cranfield, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary On the Epistle to the Romans, 424.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 159.

BDAG, A Greek-English Lexicon, 1066.

Mitchell, “The Holy Spirit’s Intercessory Ministry,” 239.

Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 527.

Deibler, A Semantic and Structural Analysis of Romans, 194.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 329, Dunn, Romans 1–8, 480, Schreiner, Romans, 446.

See also William Sanday and Arthur Headlam, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans, International Critical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1968), 214.

Moo, Epistle to the Romans, 527.

Morris, The Epistle to the Romans, 329.

Dunn, Romans 1–8, 480.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 148.

Ibid., 526.

Ernst Käsemann, Commentary on Romans, tr. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980), 240.

Rosscup, “The Spirit’s Intercession,” 161.