|I Can Pray in the Spirit
By Greg Sanders
Romans 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
Have you ever felt like you needed help when you pray? Have you ever wanted to pray according to the will of God regarding a situation but you were uncertain of His will? Perhaps you began praying and your mind drifted off in a thousand different directions and you wished there was some way to bypass the distractions and keep praying on the right track. The good news is that Romans 8:26 reminds us that the Spirit can help us pray. Today I want to tackle three most asked questions I receive about praying in the Spirit.
What does it mean to pray in the Spirit?
Ephesians 6:18 states, “Pray in the Spirit at all times, with every kind of prayer and petition. To this end, stay alert with all perseverance in your prayers for all the saints.” The term “pray in the Spirit” is used multiple times by Paul, so the best way to determine what He means by this term in this context is to examine his teaching in other contexts. For example, in 1 Corinthians 14:14, Paul says, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. 15What then shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind. I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” Clearly “praying in the Spirit” was a term to demonstrate the difference in praying in a known tongue and an unknown tongue. Instead of outlawing one or the other, Paul encourages a both/and approach to prayer. Knowing what the term means, you may wonder why someone would want to engage in such an activity.
Why would I want to pray in the Spirit?
1 Corinthians 14:4 A person who speaks in tongues is strengthened personally, but one who speaks a word of prophecy strengthens the entire church. Personally I need the strength that comes from the edifying work of the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit edifies the prayer. This type of praying creates an open channel of His power into your life. If your prayer life drains you instead of fuels you, it is an indication that you need to receive this gift of praying in the Spirit.
How can I begin praying in the Spirit?
Realize that praying in the Spirit is not a badge for the spiritually elite. Acts 2 gives us the blueprint for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Luke writes in verse “38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is to you, to your children, and to those far away—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” The simple takeaway is to repent of sin, turn to God, and believe that this gift is for you.
Today’s Challenge: You can pray in the Spirit. Never be satisfied in your pursuit of Jesus and your surrender to the Holy Spirit. Seek Him today knowing He has more for you.