Praying in the Spirit
Praying in the Spirit has many benefits. For one, the fruit of the Spirit is released in us, which has supernatural and multifaceted effects on our attitudes and personality that are given off by Him resting in us and on us. Aside from this practical and necessary benefit, praying in the Spirit gives us specific, unique advantages that we achieve by allowing the Spirit to pray through us. I want to talk to you today about a few of the specific and unique advantages we have when we allow God’s Spirit to pray through us. Praying in the Spirit gives us wisdom, gives us even more of an advantage in spiritual warfare and causes us to be “built up” and edified in our spirit man.
Sometimes in life, we are so overwhelmed we don’t even know what we should pray for. Sometimes words fail and human intelligence fumbles with even the articulation of what it is we need. God understands the words contained in even a single tear, but when we’re done allowing our soul to vent by crying, we need to take God’s hand and pray in the Spirit.
“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.” Romans 8:26-27
When we pray in the Spirit, the Spirit of God intercedes for us according to whatever Gods will is. Back up a little. The previous verse says that the Holy Spirit searches our hearts.
If we are desiring something that really isn’t Gods best for us, then the Spirit can align our hearts so that we do desire His highest and best for our lives. We don’t have to be afraid of God’s will. His commands are not grievous and He loves us with a perfect love. The Spirit of God uses wisdom to pray for what we need to, He aligns our hearts with God’s, and He also prays for those things we’re longing for.
Satan cannot understand what you are praying when you pray in the Spirit. This gives you the upper hand and the advantage of surprise. Praying in the Spirit is directly to God and no one can understand the mysteries you are praying. When you pray in the Spirit, you are getting out the big guns!
“For anyone who speaks in a tongue[a] does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit. 3 But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. 4 Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church. 5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues,[b] but I would rather have you prophesy….For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful.
15 So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding." (1 Corinthians 14:2-5, 14:14-15)
This verse is saying that in our repertoire of spiritual warfare, praying in the Spirit has a very important place, along with prophesying and prayer in our earthly language where people can understand. This verse also says outright that praying in the Spirit is the same as praying in tongues, and that praying in the Spirit (or tongues) edifies you, and builds you up. Like an indestructible house that still stands when the storm comes, we should pray in the Spirit to build up our spiritual “walls.”
Building Yourself Up
“But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” Jude 1:20
The Psalms record that David says he encouraged himself in the Lord. Does that mean he prayed in the Spirit? We don’t know. Maybe, maybe not. However, many theologians feel that Hannah was praying in the Spirit in 1 Samuel. I shared that story with you in a previous article. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard, and the man of God, Eli, mistakenly thought she was drunk.
Hannah was in such distress that she didn’t know what she should pray for. The Spirit prayed through her because she was unable to find the words. Her heart’s desire was for a child, and God’s will was to give her one. That’s why we don’t ever need to be afraid to give our desires to God. If God ever tells us no…. its only because He has something better. Hannah asked specifically for a boy and she received one. The promises of God are yes and amen. Everyone who asks, receives; who seeks, finds; and who knocks, it is opened to them!
Hannah was being attacked mentally, emotionally and spiritually. She needed a way to pray directly to God without Satan being able to intercept what she was saying and hinder her any further. Hannah also had been torn down as a person, a woman, and even as a wife. She desperately needed to be built back up. So her method was to pray in the Spirit to use all the advantages of praying in the Spirit to the very maximum.
We need to use the arsenal of resources God has equipped us with to go forward in victory! This month, we are focusing on prayer. It is vital that we spend time praying in the Spirit so we can be illuminated, adjusted, empowered, edified and built back up. Life will throw curveballs at us sometimes, and we need to use the powerful weapon of allowing the Spirit to move through us to get us the victory!
Some of you may be where Hannah was before she began to use the weapon of praying in the Spirit. Some of you are in a state of despair, exhaustion, confusion or utter fatigue. I hope that you look at Hannah’s testimony and use the tools she did to regain the victory and rebuild your life. May God bless you richly as you go forth whole and complete, nothing missing and nothing broken.
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It's time to equip yourself not just to pray, but pray more effectively through these powerful teaching resources. In Paula's new 3 CD series "Prayer" she covers the topic of prayer intensely with guests Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams, who specializes in prayer, and Evangelist Shane Perry who has made prayer the cornerstone of his ministry.
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