For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. —Romans 8:26
John Knox, with an all-consuming soul-concern for his country, prayed, “Give me Scotland, or I die!” His earnest travail was rewarded with a spiritual rebirth in his land. This is what is termed “praying in the Spirit.” It is the manifestation of a deep spiritual concern for others, and it is instilled by the Spirit of God. This kind of prayer can leap over oceans, speed across burning deserts, spring over mountains, bound through jungles, and carry the healing, helping power of the Gospel to the object of prayer.
That “the Spirit Himself makes intercession” indicates that it is actually God pleading, praying, and mourning through us. Thus we become co-laborers with God, actual partners with Him; our lives are lifted from the low plane of selfishness to the high plane of creativeness with God. John Knox travailed, and the Church in Scotland broke into new life.