Faithlife Sermons

Pray In The Spirit

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Last Wednesday evening I talked about the issue of fasting and its importance in our prayer life. Well, yesterday and all morning, (in all actuality, for quite some time now), I have been asking the Lord about the subject of fulfilling the great commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind and all of your strength” and what all that entails and even more importantly, “HOW DO I GET THERE?"

I don’t know if you remember it or not, but back in June, I spoke about the great commandment and of how it was stuck in my head.
Well, it continually stays on my mind and I find myself asking the Lord to reveal to me things that I need to do to draw closer and closer to Him and His presence and of how to love Him to the full capacity of that passage!
So, yesterday and last night and all morning, I have had a thought stuck in my mind, that I believe is a HUGE key to moving forward in my relationship with God as learning to love Him with all of my being.
I shared this with Pastor Clyde yesterday and I wanted to to very briefly mention it to you today.
I know that what I am about to say will seem so obvious and almost trivial, as we all will acknowledge this to be true, and yet, it is something that needs to be reminded and emphasized to the whole church body.

Turn in your Bibles with me, to ,

John 14:15–26 ESV
15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, 17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. 18 “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. 20 In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
Why did Jesus send us His Holy Spirit?
Yes, because He would give us spiritual power, as we find Jesus saying in ,
Acts 1:8 ESV
8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
And this “power” would enable us to complete the great commission, but power is not the only thing that Holy Spirit does for the believer.
He also serves as a guide and comforter and helper. The “paraklētos”, which means, “the Helper, Counselor, Encourager, Mediator.”
Just as Jesus, Himself had walked alongside of the disciples for 3.5 years and poured into them and instructed them in the will and the way of God, so now, Holy Spirit would continue this, as “another helper”.
This why Jesus specifically said, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”
Jesus knew that without His presence residing in the lives of the disciples, and ours as well, to be there and guide us and encourage us, we would falter!
And since we all recognize that our prayer life to God is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL in this walk in the Kingdom, Holy Spirit does something else for us, that we cannot do on our own and it is something that many of us acknowledge and yet falter in our understanding of.

Holy Spirit guides and empowers and strengthens our prayers to God. On our own, in our own abilities and our own fleshly self, it is impossible for us to have and sustain a healthy prayer life to God!

In every way, God’s own Holy Spirit is needed to facilitate and formulate and ask God for what we truly need as His children.
Even the model prayer that Jesus gave to the disciples in and , if we look at it now, in our own lives, we see that modeled prayer is completely realized by and through the Holy Spirit.
READ Holy Spirit in the Lord’s Prayer.
So, what am I really speaking about tonight? Simply put, I am saying that we must learn the meaning of and come to the realization of the phrase, “praying in the Spirit”!
tells us, “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.”
And again, in , we read, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit.”
What do these verses mean, when they say, “praying in the Holy Spirit”?
Or another way of me asking this, is what have many people been taught that they refer to and to how we approach them?
Many people, myself included, were taught that to “pray in the Spirit”, meant that we were praying in a our prayer language, in another tongue.
And although our prayer language is involved with our prayer life, I believe that the larger meaning of this passage can be overlooked, if we are not careful to look at the understanding more closely.

What does it mean to “pray in the Spirit”?

Well, just as Paul said in , “Walk by/in the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh”, we can see that he is saying that our allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our daily lives and our thoughts and our actions, will guide and protect us from living in sin and helps to keep our lives within the will of God for our lives.
So also, “praying in the Spirit” allows Holy Spirit to guide and direct our prayers and the intentions and content of our prayers, so that what we are seeking from God, is within the will of God for our lives.
And it may seem simple to say, that if we read the Word and then pray to God and ask Him for the things that are on our minds, then we are praying in the Spirit, but it is more involved than that.
In and of our own carnal self, praying is not easy and it is not natural.
How many of you would say, or can say even now in your life, that praying is many times a very difficult and arduous thing to do?
Many of us, after coming to know Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, found that prayer was difficult and quite often, short and frustrating, right?
Well, when we become empowered by Holy Spirit and He is active in our lives and we are not quenching Him, or grieving Him through our thoughts and actions, then He strengthens our inner spirit man and allows us to do, what we would normally not be able to do; PRAY WITH ALL AUTHORITY AND POWER TO GOD!
says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
It is Holy Spirit who comes along side of our spirit and prays with and intercedes for us, with groanings to the father, that are not expressed, but are very much real and powerful.
This passage is saying that when we are praying to God, through Jesus, by Holy Spirit, then He will partner up with us and begin to speak to Father on our behalf, for the things that we do not know how to ask for.
And just as Paul says earlier in this passage in Romans, “that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now”, so to does the groanings that are made by Holy Spirit in our prayer life, refer to the pains of childbirth.
That groan that a woman makes in childbearing, is “pain, transfigured by hope”.
I like the way that this expression sounds, as this is the way that the former teacher and preacher, Adrian Rogers, used to explain it. The groanings that a woman makes in childbearing, is, “pain transfigured by hope”.
And that is exactly what we find when the Holy Spirit is praying with utterances and groans that are inexpressible in words from you and I.
Holy Spirit is pairing up with our spirit and crying out to the Father for the things that we need to pray for and do not know how to ask Him for.
But, we must be faithful and pray and pursue that relationship with Holy Spirit and allow Him to move in our lives and in our prayer life as well!
One other thing found in this passage in , is where it says that He “helps” us in our weakness.
The word for “help” that is used there, in an interesting word, because, in the Greek, it has two prefixes. (READ FROM STUDY BIBLE)
When we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, is it Him praying for you, or you praying for you?
The answer is both. He is praying both, together with you and instead of you!
You cannot do it without Him, and He will not do it without you!

Here is the thing that I want to stress about praying in the Spirit. Holy Spirit quickens our spirit man and strengthens him to go after God in prayer with a veracity and a passion that can not be satiated with anything else, nor by anyone else!

In other words, when you and I are being led by and empowered by Holy Spirit in our lives, the need and the want and the desire and the unction to pray is completely insatiable! Nothing else will do, accept spending time in prayer with your heavenly Father!
And Holy Spirit will also quicken your physical man, to allow him to take that time and go into a time of prayer with God!
Have you ever tried to pray and you end up falling asleep, but then shortly thereafter, a movie comes on that you want to watch, and you are wide awake?
The natural man, does not want to pray. So, praying in the Spirit (praying under His power and His control in your life), bypasses the carnal man and drives you into prayer.
Mention Jesus in the garden with Peter and James and John and their inability to stay awake and pray.
Jesus said, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”!
When Holy Spirit is speaking to you and prompting you to pray, right then and right there, do not hesitate and falter, as you may quench the spirit, as tells us,
1 Thessalonians 5:16–19 ESV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit.
When Holy Spirit prompts you to pray, even if it is at 2:00 in the morning, wake up and do it. even if you do not know what you are praying about, because He will come alongside of you and intercede for you (praying with you and instead of you).
Story of a young man and his testimony to heeding the unction and calling of Holy Spirit -
Once I was driving home from working at UPS. I worked the night shift during my doctoral days and never seemed to get enough sleep. I was driving home very early one morning, around 4:30, and falling asleep at the wheel. I tried everything to stay awake. I turned up the radio and tried to sing along. I even slapped myself. The next thing I knew, I woke up in my driveway. I was more than a little shaken. I didn’t know how I got there.
Once I was driving home from working at UPS. I worked the night shift during my doctoral days and never seemed to get enough sleep. I was driving home very early one morning, around 4:30, and falling asleep at the wheel. I tried everything to stay awake. I turned up the radio and tried to sing along. I even slapped myself. The next thing I knew, I woke up in my driveway. I was more than a little shaken. I didn’t know how I got there.
I walked inside the house now eerily wide awake, and as I walked into our bedroom I noticed the strangest thing: my wife was wide awake, too. She would normally be asleep, but instead, she was sitting up in bed waiting for me.
She said, “Hi, honey, how was your drive?”
I said, “It’s funny you should ask. I really struggled to stay awake on the drive home. In fact, I don’t know how I got here.”
She said, “Yeah I figured. . . . ”
“Okay,” I said, “please continue!”
“Well,” she said, “I woke up at about 4:30 very suddenly, and felt this intense prompting to pray. I figured you must be struggling on the road since that is around the time you normally come home. So, I prayed for you.”
I think I am still alive, and typing these words, because my wife did not quench the Spirit in that moment. She obeyed the Spirit’s prompting to pray.
And one final thought about praying in Holy Spirit and in His power, is that we must first realize and admit to God, that in and of ourselves, we do not have, nor can we possess on our own, the ability to have a powerful prayer life.
We must admit that we are weak and need His Holy Spirit to strengthen our spirit and mind to have such an amazing prayer life.
What did God say to Paul in , “Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
When you and I come before God and say to Him that we have no power on our own to have the prayer life that we need, and that we need Him to empower us and strengthen us and our prayer life, then His power is made perfect in our confessed and acknowledged weakness!!
Related Media
Related Sermons