“Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with unspeakable groanings.

And He that searches hearts, knows what the Spirit desires; because He intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God” (Romans 8:26-27).

The Spirit cries “Abba Father” in the hearts of the blessed, knowing with solicitude that their sighing in this tabernacle can but weigh down the already fallen or transgressors.

Therefore He “more than intercedes with God in sighs unspeakable,” for the great love and sympathy He feels for men taking our sighs upon himself.

By virtue of the wisdom that resides in Him, He beholds our Soul humbled unto dust and shut within the body of humiliation.

Accordingly, He employs no common sighs when He more than intercedes with God but unspeakable ones akin to the unutterable words which a man may not speak.

[…] “I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit; and I will sing with the understanding also.”

Even our understanding is unable to pray unless the Spirit leads it in prayer.

Neither can it sing a hymn, with rhythmic cadence and in unison, with true measure and in harmony, to the Father in Christ, unless the Spirit who searches all things – even the depth of God – first praise and hymn Him whose depth He has searched and, as He had the power, comprehended.

I think it must have been the awakened consciousness of human weakness falling short of prayer in the right way – above all realized as he listened to great words of intimate knowledge falling from the Saviour’s lips in prayer to the Father – that moved one of the disciples of Jesus to say to the Lord when He ceased praying, “Lord, teach us to pray, even as John also taught his disciples.”

[…] Prayers which are really spiritual – because the Spirit was praying in the heart of the saints – are recorded in scripture, and they are full of unutterably wonderful declarations.

In the first book of Kings there is the prayer of Hannah, which appears only in part, because the whole of it was not committed to writing since she was “speaking in her heart” when she persevered in prayer before the Lord.

[…] These prayers are prayers truly made and spoken with the Spirit, and are full of the declarations of the wisdom of God.

Therefore we may say of the truths that they proclaim “Who is wise that he shall understand them? And who has understanding, that he shall fully know them?”

Origen Adamantius (c.185-254): On Prayer, ch. 1.