And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. ~ Eph.6:18
This verse gives us a major directive and that is to pray in the Spirit.
Let me ask you, when you pray, do you pray in the Holy Spirit?
Do you even know what that means?
People have very different ideas of what it means to pray in the Spirit. Some believe we pray in the Spirit when we speak in tongues. Others take the supernatural out and think it’s basically just praying.
Many dance around this topic. Others avoid discussing it.
Here are my thoughts when it comes to praying in the Spirit.
- Praying in the Spirit begins with coming before God with a total dependence on and surrender to him. It’s coming before his throne room of grace and lifting every concern to him with the knowledge and full assurance that we are totally desperate for his intervention. It’s knowing in the core of your being that you are absolutely hopeless without him and his divine intervention and at the same time filled with immeasurable hope when you ask and trust him to work.
- Praying in the Spirit involves turning from sin. James 5:16 teaches us that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. Praying in the power of the Spirit involves living a righteous life, which does not mean living a perfect life. Jesus is the only one capable of achieving that. But you cannot pray in the Spirit if you are choosing to live in sin. Righteous living is making a choice not to allow sin to control your life. And when you do sin, it means earnestly confessing those sins to God and determining to turn from them. And as important as striving to live a holy life is, we must understand that our righteousness is never based on how little we sin or how holy a life we live. It’s based on our relationship with Christ and what he has done; his sinless life, his death and his resurrection from the dead.
- Praying in the Spirit also involves both speaking and listening to God. The Lord God does speak to us. The main way he speaks is through his word. I’ve personally heard him speak to me through the bible more times than I can count. God’s word is alive and speaks life. It’s not unusual to read a verse or passage I’ve read dozens of times and sense God speaking something personal and relevantly timely to me. God also speaks to his children in other ways. Some of these ways are through his still small voice, through dreams and prophecies, and through other believers, to name a few. When God has something to convey he will speak, in his way and in his time. He spoke to the prophet Balaam through a donkey and to Moses through a burning bush. He is God and because he speaks, praying in the spirit involves listening as much as it does speaking.
- We cannot pray in the Spirit if we are not praying in faith. Hebrews 11:6 tells us “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Praying in faith involves standing firm in believing God is who the Bible says he is and that he hears and answers us when we pray!
- And finally, praying in the Spirit should also involve our emotions. I enjoy my times of prayer. During prayer with God I’ll often pray loudly. I cry out and I speak out. Scripture teaches us that Jesus was often heard praying with loud cries. Other times I’ll pray in silence, meditating on and in the presence of God. Still other times I’ll sing. However I pray, I allow my emotions to take part. God has given us emotions for a purpose and I believe that purpose involves our communication with him.
At its core, praying in the Spirit involves knowing fully that only God can but God can. It’s wrapping your brain around the truth that your father God is the answer to all you need: That as we step out and pray in faith, he will answer.
The answer to every prayer we pray is solely because of who God is. Only he is able, and he is more than able.
Yes, praying in the Holy Spirit does involve the supernatural. How can coming before the creator God of the universe not involve the supernatural?
Because he is a supernatural God, nothing we face is ever beyond his capable, miraculous intervention.
No battle is too great: No mountain too large. Victory is always in his hands.
God has an amazing life planned for us and prayer is a major part of that life. Take steps to grow in your understanding of what it means to pray under the control and power of the Holy Spirit.
Praying in the Sprit is a wonderful and powerful tool of blessing for the people of God.