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. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what
is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints
according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).
The words of our text speak of our state of mind when we pray. As we come before
the Lord and seek a pardon for our sins, are we in a forgiving spirit for our
brother’s sins against us? When we plead for mercy for our souls, are our hearts
merciful toward those who have sinned against us? Do we have the mind of the
Romans 8:16 says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we
are the children of God.” What does that mean? It is speaking about our mental
attitude, the attitude we have toward our fellow man.
The Lord searches our hearts when we come before Him to pray. He knows what kind
of attitude we have. He looks at our attitude toward our fellow man and our
attitude toward the blessed righteousness of God. Do we love God with our heart,
soul and mind? Are we praying out of selfishness, wanting things to consume upon
our lusts?
 Do we have that mind of Christ?
We need to understand how the Holy Spirit helps our infirmities and how He makes
intercession for us. We are not perfect. We would have to say, Lord, I forgive,
help my unforgiving spirit. We are fallen creatures. The Lord knows that our
hearts’ desire is to forgive, but that we need help.
We have considered our infirmity of ignorance and how the Spirit helps us by
raising our eyes to our blessed High Priest and Redeemer. By nature we will

pray for things that are strictly selfish. We do not understand the mind of God, and
we start praying for things that are outside of His will.
The Holy Spirit, as He works grace in the heart, gives us a heart to will and to
do what God desires us to do. In other words, He gives us a right attitude. If
the Holy Spirit is to help my infirmities in prayer, He does this by lifting my
eyes of faith to that blessed Redeemer as we read in 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.”
The Holy Spirit opens my eyes to show me the ignorance of my heart. He knows my
mind. He knows my thinking. He knows my heart’s desire. He knows the innermost
desires of my heart. He knows that I see how deplorably ignorant I am of what I
really stand in need of.
You and I have walked out of the way, and we have fallen so far short of doing
the will of God. Our sins rise up against us, and we see that we cannot have the
mind of Christ because of our fallen condition, yet He knows those infirmities.
He knows the inner desires of our hearts and whether we want to do the will of
God. He knows our hearts and intercedes in our behalf, not only before the
Father, but also in our hearts. He instills within us right desires. He
enlightens our minds, and He removes our ignorance.


The Lord Jesus Christ was compassed with infirmities. He hungered. He thirsted.
He was tired. He was weary. He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without
sin. He understood our every weakness, and that makes Him such a blessed
Redeemer. That makes Him such a blessed High Priest.

As the Spirit opens our understanding to realize what our text means by “he that
searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,” then we begin to
see the importance of 1 Peter 4:17: “For the time is come that judgment must
begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of
them that obey not the gospel of God?”
Why does judgment begin with the house of God? The Lord brings us in judgment in
the court of our own consciences. We plead for mercy, and then He brings to our
remembrance how we were unmerciful to our brother. Do I then repent of that? Do
I have sorrow for that? Does my heart break for the lack of mercy I had for my
neighbor? That is where judgment begins. If I have an unforgiving spirit, I will
receive no forgiveness. How do I judge my fellow man?
You and I are to obey the gospel, which is the law of love, to love God with our
hearts, our souls and our minds, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The
Lord brings to our remembrance our secret thoughts, and judgment begins there. 

As we come to plead before the throne for mercy, “he that searcheth the hearts,”
brings us to see our infirmities in James 2:13: “For he shall have judgment
without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.”
He knows our unforgiving nature and lack of mercy, and here we are before the
throne pleading for mercy. He teaches us to show mercy because we need mercy.
That is where judgment begins. It begins in: How did I judge my brother? How
merciful was I to him?

As we come to plead before the throne of grace to recite the Lord’s prayer, “he
that searcheth the hearts” brings us to see our infirmities in Matthew 6:12:
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
How many of us have recited the Lord’s prayer? Sometimes it makes me shudder to
even attempt to pray the Lord’s prayer. Do you and I dare to come before God the
Father, Judge of heaven and earth, and say, Father, forgive me as I have
forgiven my brother, because I find such an unforgiving spirit in me, that I
have not forgiven with the kind of forgiveness that I need.

The Holy Spirit brings this to my attention. Now we understand what we should
pray for as we ought. We should be praying for a forgiving spirit maybe even
more than we pray for our own forgiveness, because that has to be first. Until
we have received a forgiving spirit, we cannot have forgiveness.

When we learn to realize that judgment begins at the house of God then we must
cry out as in Mark 9:24: “And straightway the father of the child cried out, and
said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
This man needed help to believe. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmity of
unbelief. He gives us the right spirit. He gives us that true desire to come
before the Father of lights with a true hungering after righteousness. Then we
become lost in the love of God. All of our hatred and bitterness get dissolved.
The Holy Spirit opens our understanding and we start to understand the mind of
the Spirit, and we begin to understand what it is to believe. To believe means
that we are brought into total, unconditional surrender to the will of God.
Unbelief is to stand in open rebellion against God.
When we see the sins of our brother, instead of being critical and instead of
becoming hateful, we can rejoice in what the Spirit said in Numbers 23:21: “He
hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel:
the LORD his God is with him, and the shout of a king is among them.”
Jacob was a dirty crook. He was a liar. He was a thief. He was everything but
honorable, but the Lord said He had not beheld iniquity in him.
If you have a brother who is less than what you would like to see him be, does
it make you bitter? Does it make you hateful? Do you rise in judgment in your
heart against him and elevate yourself above him?
The Holy Spirit will try your heart. He knows your mind. Can we look at Jacob
and not behold iniquity in him? The Lord can forgive him, can I? The Lord came
upon him with a revelation of the ladder from earth to heaven, which was a
revelation of his salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ and never even reproved him
for his sins. The Lord showed him that he would be cleansed and washed from his
sins. Can you and I do that to our brother? That is the mind of the Spirit.
When we come before the Lord to seek mercy for our souls, but sit in judgment of
our brother, if we receive judgment without mercy, it will be because we were
not merciful, because we were not forgiving.
We have considered how the blessed Spirit intercedes Himself in the heart to
help with these infirmities “with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
These sighs and groans that are stirred up by the Spirit are not without fruit
and success because they are acceptable before the Lord. We struggle against
these infirmities, as we fight against these things of Satan trying to penetrate
our hearts. The Lord loves for us to struggle against these powers of sin.
We read in Psalm 51:17: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and
a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
These are the sacrifices God delights in. The Lord has no delight in us
sacrificing anything of the flesh. What He wants is our hearts.
The Lord is omniscient. The Lord is everywhere present. We are totally
transparent before Him. Every thought and intent and imagination of our hearts
is open and naked before His eyes. He is not looking for perfection in us. The
perfection is in Christ, but He wants to see remorse over sin.  

When we come before the Lord with contrite hearts, an unconditional surrender to
His will, then the Lord will hear from heaven. He will hear our prayers.
I can forgive my fellow man if the Lord’s will is that that man crucifies me,
and crucifies my flesh to the bare bone. I can surrender because it is the Lord
who sent that trial. I cannot look down on another and wonder how God could love
him and wonder whether he could have grace in his heart. That is not for me to
judge. I have to realize that judgment begins at the house of God, and where do
I stand? Not where he stands, but where do I stand as far as my forgiving
spirit? That is contrition.
We read in Psalm 102:17-20: “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not
despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come: and the
people which shall be created shall praise the LORD. For he hath looked down
from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To
hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death.”
The Lord has compassion on those who cry to Him. You and I by nature are
prisoners of Satan and the power of sin. We have no might against them, but does
it cause us to groan? Do we groan under that imprisonment? As prisoners of
Satan, our portion is eternal death, but do we desire to be delivered from it? 

FOR OUR THIRD POINT, let’s consider how “he that searcheth the hearts knoweth
what is the mind of the Spirit.”
As the Lord sends us a trial of faith, He is looking for evidence that we truly
fear the Lord. The trial of our faith is more precious than silver or gold.

What is salvation? There is such a variety of doctrines in the world about what
constitutes salvation. Salvation is to be delivered from self and sin, and to
receive true godly fear in the heart.
Proverbs 8:13 tells us that the fear the Lord is to hate evil, pride, arrogance
and every evil way. It is a mental attitude, a mental disposition. It is when my
mind and my heart are in harmony with the mind of the Spirit.
That is what our text talks about: “He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is
the mind of the Spirit.” Is there harmony? There will be no contentions in
heaven. Unless our hearts and minds have come into perfect harmony with the
Spirit of God, we cannot dwell with Him. This life process purges us of that old
nature of sin or rebellion.
We will not be fully delivered from evil in this life, but it is our greatest
sorrow. It is our greatest grief.
I want you to see in Genesis 22:12, where the Lord spoke from heaven to Abraham
after he placed his son Isaac on the altar: “And he said, Lay not thine hand
upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou
fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”
Do you know what the Lord will give us trials for? He will allow people to do
some of the most horrible things to us to see whether we fear Him. He will allow
these things to happen to see if we will have bitter hearts against our enemies.
God is trying us to see if we understand the fear of the Lord. Do we understand
what it means that judgment begins at the house of God? If we can forgive that
small violation against us, then the Lord will forgive that great violation we
have done in Adam and throughout our entire lives. 

Even as the Father was so pleased with His Son’s holy reverence for His blessed
will, so He is pleased with those who fear Him. I want you to understand that
the Lord’s greatest delight is in those who fear Him, those who have a holy
reverence for His will, those who have a holy reverence for Him and His name.
We read in Psalm 34:7: “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that
fear him, and delivereth them.” This is those who have a holy reverence for His
will, those who hate evil.
There is joy in heaven among the angels over one sinner who repents, who has
remorse over his sins, to become a God-fearing soul, to come to the point where
he hates sin and loves God, who learns to fear the Lord.
Continuing in verses 8 and 9 we read: “O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for
there is no want to them that fear him.”
See the counseling that David gives. All things belong to those who fear the
Lord. On the other hand, as we read in verse 10: “The young lions do lack, and
suffer hunger: but they that seek the LORD shall not want any good thing.”
We may not have everything we would like to have, but we will never lack
anything we truly need. We will always have sufficient food, sufficiency of
everything we need. The Lord provides. 

Now, watch what it says in verse 11: “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will
teach you the fear of the LORD.”
We cannot find anything more precious than if the Holy Spirit comes into our
hearts and teaches us the fear of the Lord, that we have a yearning desire to do
what is pleasing in His sight.
So many people are heaven-seekers. They want to accept Jesus so they can go to
heaven, but they love every sin and have no desire to be delivered from it. They
think that just takes place in heaven. Well, I want to tell you something. Old
Satan has a lot of these people following him to hell. Only one person will ever
enter heaven, that is the one who fears the Lord. If you do not have true, godly
fear in your soul, you are hell-bound, no two ways about it.
If you read all of Psalm 34 you will see how David was delivered in such
trouble, and then he says it was the reward of godly fear. When we have
adversity, it is because of that godly fear that the Lord rewards us.

Our text says, “And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the
Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of
Our hearts start longing to know and do the will of God. That is where godly
fear begins, and that is how the Holy Spirit intercedes for us. He implants in
us that new desire. That is the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification as He
instills in our hearts that desire to know and to do the will of God.
The man after God’s own heart understood how transparent his heart was before
God as we see in Psalm 138:6: “Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto
the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.”
You and I may have secrets from our friends. We may even have secrets from our
wives or husbands. We may have secrets that we have never told a living soul.
Some things traffic our minds that are unrepeatable. If everything that ever
trafficked your mind were written on the wall, you would not dare to show your
face. I am not a stranger to these things. Sometimes Satan can penetrate with a
dart of some of the most heinous thoughts, but the Lord knows whether we cherish
those thoughts or whether those thoughts are darts of Satan that we pray
against. The Lord knows that too. 

David said in Psalm 101:5: “Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I
cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.”
The Lord knows if you slander your neighbor even secretly and in such a way that
no one else knows. He knows your heart, and He will cut such people off. 

Continuing in verse 6 we read: “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the
land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall
serve me.”
To enter the kingdom of God is to serve Him, and the Lord does not allow anyone
in His service who is two-faced, who can speak with a forked tongue. Anyone who
has a high look and slanders his neighbor is unable to serve the Lord. The Lord
will not accept our service.

You cannot enter the kingdom of heaven without repenting. The Lord Jesus tells
us in Matthew 4:17: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Until we
have that new attitude, until we have that new heart, we cannot enter the
Continuing in Psalm 101:7 we read: “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell
within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” 

I can tell you something that is absolutely true, but not the whole truth, and
in the business and social worlds this happens all the time. I have led you to
believe a lie. I have led you to believe something that was not true. I can feel
pretty smart about it and say, Well, what I said was true.

Old Satan tells a lot of truth too. Read in Genesis 3 how he deceived Eve. Much
of what he said was true, but he twisted that truth to make a lie.
The Lord knows our minds. He knows our heart’s desire. This is what we need to
understand when we come and pray before the Lord. He knows whether we have the
mind of the Spirit. Judgment begins at the house of God.
The Lord “searcheth the hearts” to see if we have the mind of the Spirit,
because the Spirit “maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of
God.” When the Holy Spirit intercedes in my soul, His intercession is according
to the will of God. So, if I am praying that the Holy Spirit has given me
opening in prayer, then I am pouring out a heart in the mind of Christ—if that
is a prayer that is going to be heard.
David said in Psalm 66:16: “Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will
declare what he hath done for my soul.”
Who did He invite? The liars? No. The proud? No. He did not invite “all you
Christians.” He invited all those who fear God, those who hate sin.
Why does He invite only a selected crowd? He does this because He is not going
to cast His pearls before swine. He is not going to take the precious things of
God, what God has done for his soul, and lay them out before those who would
trample them and minimize what the Lord has done.
Continuing in verses 17 and 18 he says: “I cried unto him with my mouth, and he
was extolled with my tongue. If I regard [that is, if I cherish] iniquity in my
heart, the Lord will not hear me.”

This is what we need to understand when we talk about prayer. If we cherish some
bitter thought against a friend or some secret sin, then the Lord will not hear
us. He searches the heart. He understands whether we have the mind of the

We read in verses 19 and 20: “But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to
the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer,
nor his mercy from me.”
What a special thing this was. He called all who feared God. He had something he
wanted to share with them. He shared with them that he had cried to the Lord,
and the Lord heard him.
There is much that passes for prayer that is nothing more than the babbling of
the flesh, and the Lord does not bow down His ear to hear—if it is not in the
right spirit.

David extolled the name of the Lord. David understood that he had to say: Lord,
give me mercy. Forgive my unmerciful spirit. Forgive my sin, and forgive my
greatest sin, and that is my unforgiving spirit. In the mind of the Spirit, the
Lord could examine his heart and see that it was a true prayer. It was a true
desire. He was not cherishing iniquity in his heart. He hated it.
The Spirit not only searches the heart for sin and a wrong attitude, but He
searches it for good.

Many times, when I was in the deepest distress, the Lord would bless me with a
passage of Scripture where He showed me that He had delighted in something I had
done. What melts the heart is when we see our unworthiness, and then the Lord
comes with a passage of Scripture and shows us that something we had done
pleased Him. That is so humbling.
The Holy Spirit also comes and shares with us that the angels of heaven are
rejoicing because of that Spirit of Christ in us, because we were able to
crucify our own flesh, and we were able to humble ourselves, and we were able to
come with a cry that indeed was from the Spirit of God.

Our heavenly Father looks on our infirmities with a forgiving Spirit. We read in
Psalm 103:10-11: “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us
according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great
is his mercy toward them that fear him.”
I want you to see the select crowd. I want you to see who it is that receives
mercy. I want you to see who He hears from heaven. It is an isolated crowd, and
it includes not one more person. No one will ever share the throne of glory with
Christ who does not know the fear of the Lord. 

Continuing in verses 12 and 13 we read: “As far as the east is from the west, so
far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his
children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.” 

Those who hate evil, those who hate pride, not necessarily in my neighbor so
much, but in me. When I see that ugly monster I pushing up its filthy head in my
heart is the greatest source of sorrow and the first thing that throws me flat
on my face before the Lord. Lord, forgive that ugly thought. Lord, forgive that
ugly monster. Deliver me from pride and from all arrogance.
Verse 14 says: “For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.” 
As our tender heavenly Father looks upon our infirmities, He can do what we
cannot. He can separate the good from the evil. You and I cannot look at our
brother and decide what is of the flesh and what is of the Spirit because we see
his infirmities, but we do not see what is counteracting them. That is why we
must not judge our brother. Our brother may be fighting that very infirmity that
you and I see so clearly, and it might be the greatest struggle of his heart,
and the Lord knows that.

He can decide, and He can separate the good from the evil. That is what you and
I cannot do. We cannot do that in our own hearts, because even our best prayers
are so mingled with sin that we often have to say with the Psalmist as we see in
Psalm 40:11-12: “Withhold not thou thy tender mercies from me, O LORD: let thy
lovingkindness and thy truth continually preserve me. For innumerable evils have
compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not
able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart
faileth me.”
Those who fear the Lord are not completely clear of iniquity, but the Lord is
looking at the mind of the Spirit. He is looking at the heart’s desire to be
made free from these infirmities, and that we mourn over them, that we have much
remorse over them.

We seldom have a sense of how important our attitude toward our fellow man is to
succeed in prayer. The Lord comes into the court of our conscience to see
whether we will succeed in prayer.
I want you to see what we find in Psalm 34:15-17: “The eyes of the LORD are upon
the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry. The face of the LORD is
against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the LORD heareth, and delivereth them out of all their

The righteous are those who have a right attitude toward their neighbor.
Godliness is a right attitude toward God. That is from the first table of the
law, loving God above all, with our heart, our soul and our mind.
The Lord hears and delivers the righteous because judgment begins at the house
of God. My attitude toward my neighbor is what the Lord looks at when He decides
whether He will hear my prayer.
Continuing in verse 18 we read: “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken
heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.” These are those whose hearts
are in total surrender to the will of God. 

Even though the Lord is gracious toward our infirmities, He will never smile
upon our iniquities. When I learn to see the price that my Saviour paid for my
sins, and I learn to see the wrath of God upon sin, then sin becomes so sinful.
The least thought of foolishness is sin. The least thought of bitterness against
my neighbor is sin.

I see that my Saviour had to suffer, bleed and die for that sin. When that crown
of thorns was placed on His head, those sins were in that crown of thorns. When
the soldiers took and smote Him on the head, those sins were not only placed on
His head, but they were driven in with the rod of God’s justice.

Now, think how displeasing sin is. When we understand this then we will
understand that God will never smile on the least iniquity, but He can smile on
the sinner. The gate of heaven is open for the greatest sinner, but it is too
narrow to let the least sin enter. I can be the greatest of sinners, but I have
to be purged from my sins.
In John 15:7 we read: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall
ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”

If you go all the way through John 15, we see that Jesus is teaching us the law
of love. Verse 12 says: “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I
have loved you.” He took His life’s blood to cover every one of my sins. Am I
willing to use my life’s blood to cover the sin of my brother, or am I a tale
bearer telling others the sins of my brother? Am I uncovering the sins that
Christ shed His blood to cover? The Lord looks at the mind, the attitude we have
toward our fellow man.
Do you see how answered prayer is contingent on our attitude toward our
neighbor? We want to come and talk to the Lord about going to heaven, and we
want to have Jesus’ blood wash us from all our sin, but while we are doing this
we want to smite our brother with a fist. There is no place in heaven for those
who do this because there will be perfect harmony there.  

If it seems as though the Lord does not hear our prayers, we may well look at
ourselves in the light of Isaiah 1:15: “And when ye spread forth your hands, I
will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear:
your hands are full of blood.”

What blood? Does this mean if you have literally killed someone? No, it is
speaking of the blood of Christ that covers that man’s sin, and you have brought
His blood on your hands. 

Now, he says in verses 16 and 17: “Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil
of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek
judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.”

We are to seek to do what is right. We are to stop destroying our brother.
Verse 18 says: “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though
your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like
crimson, they shall be as wool.”
When the holy God of heaven condescends so low, He comes to sinners like you and
me. He tells us to look to the love I told you to have for your fellow man. Let
us reason together. Is it not reasonable that I ask this of you? Even though you
have that blood on your hands, even though you have these sins before my eyes, I
will wash you white as snow, if you just repent, if you just change your
attitude, if you will just become a new creature, if you will just stop
destroying your brother.

C’mon, let’s reason together. This is the God of heaven talking to you and me.
We read in verses 19 and 20: “If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the
good of the land: 
But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the
sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”
If you refuse to show love toward your brother, if you refuse to judge the
fatherless, in other words, to give them what is fair and what is right, if you
refuse to plead for the widow, then He will come with His judgments.
Nothing will close up the heavens for our prayers like violations of the second
table of the law of love, when we violate that law of love. 

Let us look at Isaiah 58:3: “Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest
not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold,
in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labours.”
They came with their formal religion before the Lord. They were religious
people. They were scribes and Pharisees. They were Jews. They were doing the dos
and don’ts of the law, but they did not understand the spirit of the law. They
did not understand the Spirit interceding in the heart, giving them a right

Verse 4 says: “Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist
of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be
heard on high.”

It is not pleasing in the eyes of the Lord to sit there and bow your head in the
bulrush and sit on sackcloth and to come with all your pretenses. No, the Lord
looks on the heart. He says, You are still smiting with the fist of wickedness.
We read in verse 5: “Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to
afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread
sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day
to the LORD?” 

Verse 6 and 7 show us the fast that is pleasing to the Lord. “Is not this the
fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy
burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it
not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast
out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou
hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”
The next verses show what will happen if we do these things. 
We read in verses 8 and 9: “Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and
thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before
thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward. Then shalt thou call, and the
LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take
away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and
speaking vanity.”
We will succeed in prayer when we do what is pleasing to the Lord. We please Him
when we do what we can for our fellow man. We love him. We forgive him. We do
not judge him, his heart or his intentions.
Have we had a problem in not succeeding in prayer? We need the mind of the

This is what our text tells us in Romans 8:27: “And he that searcheth the hearts
knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the
saints according to the will of God.”
The Holy Spirit searches our hearts and looks for the right attitude. When He
comes into our hearts and He intercedes in our prayers, our prayers are going to
go forth according to the will of God.

Our prayers are so often unanswered because we ask for things that are against
God's will. I want you to see this in 1 John 5:14-15: “And this is the
confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will,
he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that
we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
I want to ask you a question. How do you study the Word of God? To find out His
will, so when we pray we can ask according to His will? So, when I see that
according to the Word of God that the Lord wants me to love my neighbor as
myself, I should fall flat on my face before the Lord and beg for that right
attitude. I should be able to beg for the Lord to give me this because I know it
is according to His will.
There can be no true worship without a realization of our transparency before
God. We must come before God with a full realization that He understands every
thought and intent of our hearts. We must understand the omnisciency of God,
that He is everywhere present, that He is the provider of every trial that you
and I suffer. If someone comes against us, we must be able to see that it was
the hand of God that brought us that trial. Whatever that man has done, we
commit to the One who judges righteously. We do not retaliate. We do not avenge
We read in Hebrews 4:12-13: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and
sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul
and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and
intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his
sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we
have to do.” 

Do you understand how transparent we are? He understands our thoughts afar off.
He understands every evil thought before it even enters our heart. That is how
omniscient He is.
So, when we come before the Lord, there is a flip side to this. My grandfather
used to thank God with tears in his eyes for the other side of that principle.
He could come before the Lord and say, Lord, I also know that you know what my
desires are, that I hate these evil intentions in my heart, that they are such a
grief to me that those attitudes spring up in me.
It is our realization of this transparency that makes our heavenly High Priest
so precious as we see in verses 14 to 16: “Seeing then that we have a great high
priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast
our profession. 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. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may
obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

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