Friday, April 3, 2009

Praying in the Spirit

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Ephesians 6:18

Looking back at Monday and Wednesday's study on having no confidence in the flesh, we get the idea that there is an opposite Person to put confidence in! Of course, that is an understatement! We must learn to put all our confidence in the Spirit of Christ. It begins and ends in humility, faith, and love. And that practice between us and Christ, is prayer.

Oh man, prayer is all sorts of wonderful things. You know this: songs, quiet, thought, spoken words, tears, a sigh, laughter. We can pray in so many different ways on so many occasions and have a consistent, open conversation with Christ.

So, what does Paul mean when he says "pray in the Spirit?" Well, my Christian background would certainly say it's not praying in tongues, while your Christian background could say it's most certainly is praying in tongues.

However, I believe speaking in tongues, or your "prayer language" (if you have one) is more than that. I believe praying in the Spirit is about learning how to involve ourselves so much in the things of the Lord that our lives become an attitude of prayer. That our minds and hearts are set on waiting for the Lord through the work of His Spirit to even guide us in prayer.

There are many times I am quiet before the Lord. There are other times I have told Him, "I simply cannot put into English what I hear in my heart, but I know you are speaking it for me." I've been unable to verbalize what was being expressed in my spirit. What is so wonderful about that is the promise of Romans 8:26 up there. Go ahead, slide back up and read it.

Prayer cannot be something that gives our flesh the chance to flex it's muscles. Prayer is meant for us to relinquish ourselves to the Father and guide us into His presence. We cannot force God to behave certain ways because we have great, flowery words to pray. We come to Him in faith and humility, wrapped up in His great and amazing love and do two things: Lay our requests before Him and wait in expectation. (I stole that from David)
In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

We can develop an expectation for what God is going to do. Not what He is going to do for us, but that He is just going to do. He's a promise keeper, and the more we know and rely on the love God has for us, the more we will see when He fulfills a promise. Prayer is not about getting what we want, it's about knowing who He is.

How you do that is up to you. Journal, dance, whisper, talk out loud, what ever you do, learn to pray. Learn to pray in the Spirit. Learn to bow in your spirit to the wonderful promise that He will pray with you and for you. Wait for Him to reveal Christ to you in what ever way He wants, even if our little brains are straining to figure that out.

For whatever reason, God designed that our prays would be the conduit of His power through His Spirit. Our prayer in Him and with Him can release what is in heaven. Our prayer can remove the enemy from our lives. Our prayer, in faith of the Holy Spirit, can change our spiritual DNA.

Relinquish your strength in prayer. Be weak so that He can be strong and fill you with words and prayer and thought that you never thought possible. Let Him fill you so that you become a powerful pray-er for Him, with Him, and because of Him. Carve out time in your day to be still before Him. Strive to make it the first-fruits of your time (morning), if you can.

Prayer is a life-long commitment, let's have the One who invented it teach us well.

1 comment:

Nicole Knox said...

"We must learn to put all our confidence in the Spirit of Christ"

I needed that right now!