GROANING – Evangelist Ikechukwu Peter Nnajiofor

Romans 8:26-28
New International Version
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

I was suppose to make a video for this, but after considering the fact that not that not everyone has data, my wife and I agreed to make both post and a a live broadcast.

There has been a serious mix up and controversy on this topic for sometime.

Now, it is important to understand that groaning is not same as speaking in tongues. For the purpose of this post, I will narrow my teaching on groanings.

Groaning occurs when your human frame can not convey your pain. There are certain levels of pain and burden that the human vocal cord and mind can not convey. There are levels of burden that the human mind can not articulate prayer points sufficient to convey the texture of such burdens. This is called the weakness of the human frame. When this happens, the Holy Spirit steps in to make the prayer with groanings that are wordless.

There are two factors that can birth groanings;

  1. When by life’s burdens we are weighed down, at such times we don’t even know how to pray or what to say. The Holy Spirit steps in to pray for us with groanings that cannot be cinveyed or expressed in words. And these prayers are made by the Spirit in wordless groanings. When you are overwhelmed and don’t know how to pray, the Spirit of God is there to help your weakness.When you run out of words, He take over. Those moments when all you can offer is your tears, He understands, the Holy Ghost know what each of those tears the means. See this amazing scripture;

New Living Translation
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book Psalm 56:8

  1. When an intercessor is deeply burdened or moved by a situation, groaning can happen. Let’s see Jesus’s example;

When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
John 11:33

The above scenario wasn’t speaking of a groaning for sorrow. The Greek word groan in this context speaks of Jesus being moved by the situation. This doesn’t mean he sympathized with the situation or that He became sorrowful, rather He got angry at Satan and the Spirit groaned, waged war at Satan. Every true intercessor must come to this point. You cannot truly intercede if you are not moved by the situation of the people you are praying for, every true intercessor is a burden bearer and that’s what makes his prayer effective. The peak of the activity of an intercessor is groaning.

Everyone who is called into ministry has a burden he or she bears. The burden of the Apostle is to see that doctrine is set in proper perspective, the burden of the teacher is expressed in his hatred for falsehood, the burden of the Evangelist is expressed in how he preaches with tenacity to get souls saved and the burden of the intercessor many times is expressed through groaning by the Spirit.

Make no mistake about this, that you are an intercessor and groans doesn’t mean you generate more power than the one who just prays in tongue, your groaning is a reflection of the dynamics of your ministry, it is the peculiarities that are consistent with your intercessory call. This experience should not make you look down on those that do not have a steady experience of it. However, every true Christian must experience this occasionally.

Having said this, it is necessary to understand that no man can by any human means explain how groaning should sound. Groaning is wordless, however sound or sounds are emitted. The closest way to explaining this is using the illustration of a woman in labor or the sighing of a person who has just lost a loved one …..they groan and sigh. ..the pregnant woman in labor groans out of the pains of birth pang….what comes out is a sound, that sound can be consistently producing a tone, it is her spirit that is doing that, it comes from her spirit. The difference between her groaning and the groaning of prayer, is in the spirit that executes it. For the pregnant woman in labor, it is her spirit and for the one praying, it is the Spirit of God. This would mean that you can not say a man is groaning wrongly because he emits one kind of sound. ….The sound is only a vibration of what is going on in the spirit….it doesn’t explain the content of the interaction. Behind that sound are contents that only the Holy Spirit understands. This is different from praying in tongues.

When it is groaning, no word can be articulated, it is just sound of pains conveying deep intercession made by the Spirit. When you hear words that can be articulated, it isn’t groaning.

We, live in a generation where people copy tongues, someone says. …Wayez ayez, wayez ayez, wayez, ayez … copy it. Oga, that is not groaning. Pray your normal prayer if the Spirit is not groaning through you. Groanings are wordless sound like a woman in labor or the deep sigh of an agonized individual.

We imitate almost everything, in this generation, we imitate preaching, we imitate prayer and so on. Imitation leads to limitation.

I also see the error of people who try to communicate how prayer posture should be, while I don’t think this is necessary, I want to say that you shouldn’t take a posture because someone is taking such posture, let is be by the Spirit or something that has been configured into you and makes you flow. Putting your hand on your ear while praying or shaking your head is not a bad thing, if it makes you flow better….it can’t be wrong if it wasn’t initiated by the flesh. Elijah took a posture while praying;

1 Kings 18:42 ESV
So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees.

That’s a tough posture to take, if you read down, you will see that the exercise produced result.

Don’t be fast in condemning a movement, don’t say a posture is wrong because you don’t take it, don’t think your prayer is more effective because because you shout and others do not. Over the years I have learnt the art of silent prayer and I get more anointed by the day. I shout when the environment permits and prayer silently where necessary. There are places you live and you cannot shout. Some think because you are not shouting, power is not been generated. ….as I’m typing now, am praying silently because it is midnight here and there are people around, I won’t wake them from their sleep. I will shout and groan when necessary. I have a friend who doesn’t pray until he holds his right or left ear….and I tell you, he is a prayer warrior. Let’s not quench people’s faith because of our personal experiences. You don’t need to take anyone’s posture, let it flow by the Spirit. There are places you step in, the prayer spirit in such places magnets you and you begin to exhibit similar manifestations of the grace for prayer….this is called impartation. Don’t formulate groaning, it only comes by the Spirit. Some postures we see are just to impress, if you do it by the flesh it profits nothing but if involuntarily it comes by the Spirit, there is profit. People are configured differently, be yourself. Don’t talk down on those that shout because you are a silent prayer person and don’t also don’t talk down on those that pray silently because you shout. Know your clan and stay with them. Because of the complexity of the world system, the Spirit will always help us adjust when necessary.

Finally, my last thought on this, is that, we shouldn’t try and explain spiritual things with human mind. Some of the things we hear about prayer today is just a subtle attack on prayer. The Babylonian king, saw a hand writing ‘Mene Mene …..’ yet he couldn’t interpret it, eventhough the word was in Aramaic, and his official language at the time of the incidence was Aramaic. He needed a Hebrew boy to interpret it…so that you have PHD in English doesn’t mean, that when God speaks English, you will understand Him. You only understand God and His things by the Spirit. The prophet told the king to shoot arrow, he shot just three times and stopped. ….the prophet became furious and said he should have shot 5 or 6 times…..meaning the word shoot was, not just without specificagion, the specification needed an interpreter.

I will look at praying in tongues, in the subsequent post. I hope and pray this blesses you.

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