Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 26 (Romans 8:26)

The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities - The same Spirit, το πνευμα , mentioned before as bearing witness with ours that we are the children of God; and consequently it is not a disposition or frame of mind, for the disposition of our mind surely cannot help the infirmities of our minds.

The word συναντιλαμβανεται is very inadequately expressed by helpeth. It is compounded of συν , together, αντι , against, and λαμβανομαι , to support or help, and signifies such assistance as is afforded by any two persons to each other, who mutually bear the same load or carry it between them. He who prays, receives help from the Spirit of God; but he who prays not receives no such help. Whatever our strength may be, we must put it forth, even while most implicitly depending on the strength of God himself.

For we know not what we should pray for as we ought - And should therefore be liable to endless mistakes in our prayers, if suitable desires were not excited by the Holy Spirit and power received to bring these desires, by prayer, before the throne of grace.

But the Spirit itself - Αυτο το πνευμα , The same Spirit, viz. the Spirit that witnesses of our adoption and sonship, Romans 8:15 , Romans 8:16 , makes intercession for us. Surely if the apostle had designed to teach us that he meant our own sense and understanding by the Spirit, he never could have spoken in a manner in which plain common sense was never likely to comprehend his meaning. Besides, how can it be said that our own spirit, our filial disposition, bears witness with our own spirit; that our own spirit helps the infirmities of our own spirit; that our own spirit teaches our own spirit that of which it is ignorant; and that our own spirit maketh intercession for our own spirit, with groanings unutterable? This would have been both incongruous and absurd. We must therefore understand these places of that help and influence which the followers of God receive from the Holy Ghost; and consequently, of the fulfillment of the various promises relative to this point which our Lord made to his disciples, particularly in John 14:16 , John 14:17 , John 14:26 ; John 15:26 , John 15:27 ; John 16:7 ; and particularly John 16:13 , John 16:14 ; : Howbeit, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth; and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible