A quote from Andrew Osenga:
"And I can feel a prayer rising, and I don't even know the words/Still the groaning is the postage, and it will not be returned/Though we're living in this rubble of our reckless plans and games/We are reaching for the promise that we will not stay the same."
I'd like to put that alongside something I heard in N T Wright (my summary of what I heard) : that when we, as individual Christians, or as the church, or part of the church, find ourselves standing at the struggle-point of pain over some difficult issue, it is not necessarily that we have done anything wrong to be there (the New Testament never promises that the existence of the righteous will be pain free) but that, in our standing there, struggling, in prayer to hold heaven and earth together at this point, the Holy spirit is groaning through us into this situation ....
My take? (at this moment) the groaning is part of the prayer, is part of our participation in redemption, both the transformation of ourselves and the healing of our world (and often of the church) as the New Creation breaks in upon the old, and the old wineskins are split apart by the pressure of the new wine of the kingdom (and how much of who I am is still an old wineskin?)
We pray "Your kingdom come", then we blame ourselves because the labour pains of its coming hurt us. It is not just "out there" that we pray to be changed, we who have tasted our own brokenness know that weare also praying "Your kingdom come in me". But have we realised that it also contains the prayer "Your kingdom come through me?