POWER IN PRAYER BY PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT
Updated: Mar 3
“Likewise, the Spirit it 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” Romans 8:26.
As strange as it may seem, power in prayer is only for those humble enough to acknowledge they do not know how to pray. The Holy Spirit is looking for people like that so He can empower them in prayer. Only if we have the Holy Spirit enablement in prayer can we obey the command given by Paul in Ephesians 6:18 “keep on praying in the Spirit ... be alert watch and pray! What is prayer in the Spirt? How is this different from other forms or modes of praying? I want to explain the different in this topic.
A. DIFFERENT FORMS OF PRAYER
There are many ways we can approach the Lord in prayer. All are important and have their place in the Church and in our walk with God.
1. Contemplative Prayer
Some religious others have given their whole life to prayer. They are devoted to knowing God and relating to His will through meditation, quiet thought and prayer. Their concern for the world is basically brought forth through “intercession” prayer on behalf of others. This is a noble and important form of prayer. However, those involved in this kind of praying seldom learn to pray in the spirit.
2. Prayer Books
Many read their prayers out of prayer books. We have a prayer book in the Bible; it is called the Book of Psalms. When such prayers are read with a heart that is truly seeking after God, the Holy Spirit can bring the life of the living Word to the written Word.
3. Direct Prayers
Many of us have had someone help or direct us in our first prayer. Little children are taught to pray by their parents. We often lead people in saying the sinner’s prayer.
4. Shopping list Prayers
Another form of prayer is what some call the shopping list approach. Some of us have a list of needs and desires which we bring to God in prayer. We write them down so we don’t forget to keep on praying until we receive ‘God’s answer. The list may include requests for our families, friends, church and pastors. When our motives are right this too is a form of prayer that results are blessing. In fact, James 4:2. “yet ye have not, because ye not ask not”. An example of this is in the story of the “prodigal son” Luke 15:11-31. The younger brother asked for and received his inheritance his part of the family fortune. In rebellion, je then left his father and elder brother and went away to live a sinful life. Many months later, he repented and returned home. His inheritance was gone; he was homeless and in poverty. His father joyfully welcomed him home, forgave him and called for a feast to celebrate the return of the prodigal. The elder brother complains to his father, “you blessed me with a feast”. The father simply replied “you are always with me and everything I have is yours” he could have had a feast any time he desired. The elder brother did not ask so he did not receive. It seems he was living far below his privilege. If he had wanted more, all he had to do was ask. This was his right as a first-born son.
B. THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO PRAY
Paul calls and encourages us to “pray in the spirit” as we shall see, this is one sure way to avoid praying amiss. Paul develops this thought in Romans. He carefully explains to us how he Holy Spirit can help us as we yield to him when we pray. “likewise, the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for us we ought but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groaning which cannot be uttered. and he that searched 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. Sometimes problems can he so large and people’s lives mixed up, we don’t know how to help them. Then too, there are so many different kinds of problems; they can involve decisions, people, places, unfinanced, heath and spiritual needs.
Often it seems people’s lives are like a fishnet that has become all tanged up in one big bundle. We don’t know where to being trying to untangle it. We want to do the right thing, in the right way, with the right people in the right place for the right reason. But where do we start? What a comfort it is to realize that the Holy Spirit knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows who we are, where we are and how we are. He also knows the Father’s will and answer make up for our lack of knowledge. The Holy Spirit compensates for our weakness and deficiencies in prayer. And more than that. He is ready to put the words we pray in our mouth so that we pray according God’s will. How does this happen when we pray in the Spirit? Prayer is the right and responsible of every Spirit filled Christian. It is God’s way of doing His will here on earth as it is in Heaven. Came therefore let us pray at all times and in all ways for God’s people everything.