Praying in the Spirit

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Very few people have direct access to the leader of their nation. If you urgently needed to get your leader’s attention, you would be out of luck since most of you don’t have the personal relationship or the national importance to demand a meeting with an important leader. So I want you to reflect for a few minutes on what I hope you will see as an astonishing truth.

Think of all the places you have visited or would like to visit. Think of the great variety of people who live in your world’s different locations and cultures. Think of the incredible sites and the dazzling array of earth’s beautiful wonders. Imagine the vastness of space and the glorious aggregation of planets into solar systems and galaxies. The One Who made this all, Who knows the intricacies of each person, Who knows and has named every star in every system, knows you. The One Who knows all the world’s wonders, both great and small, is always available to hear your words. This magnificent and holy Father understands every nuance of your emotions and grieves with every wound that is beyond your articulation.

This gift of immediate access to the King of glory is always yours. This constant attentive care of the Creator of the universe is guaranteed to be yours. Why? Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit Who allows you to approach the Almighty Father as your “Abba” (Romans 8:14-17; Ephesians 2:18).

Paul describes this grace with these powerful words:

We are weak and do not know how to pray, so the Spirit steps in and articulates prayers for us with groaning too profound for words. Don’t you know that He Who pursues and explores the human heart intimately knows the Spirit’s mind because He pleads to God for His saints to align their lives with the will of God?

(Romans 8:26-27)

So in the verses below Paul reminded the Christians of Asia Minor to “Pray in the Spirit.”

What does that mean? Well, I would remind you of how I taught you to pray:

Your prayers, rather, should be simple, like this:

Our Father in heaven,

let Your name remain holy.

Bring about Your kingdom.

Manifest Your will here on earth,

as it is manifest in heaven.

Give us each day that day’s bread — no more, no less.

And forgive us our debts

as we forgive those who owe us something.

Lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

But let Your kingdom be,

and let it be powerful

and glorious forever. Amen.

(Matthew 6:9-13)

As you pray in this way, the Holy Spirit is making your prayer more than the meaning of your words. So be intentional about praying in the Spirit. Ask your Gift of heaven’s grace to intercede for you. Recognize that the Holy Spirit empowers such prayers. Trust that all the deep nuances that you cannot articulate in your prayer will be heard. Know that your prayer will be brought into perfect alignment with the will of the Father. Don’t worry about perfect words; trust in the Spirit as your perfect Intercessor. Enter into your prayerful time as a young child who can cry out to the Abba Father with love, dependency, and intimacy. Don’t try to make your prayer impressive. Pray in the Spirit and know that your heartfelt thoughts, feelings, and words are heard!

Verses to Live

There are all sorts of things that are good to pray. However, I want you to focus on one key phrase: “pray in the power of the Holy Spirit”!

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

(Jude 1:20-21 NLT)

Pray always. Pray in the Spirit. Pray about everything in every way you know how! And keeping all this in mind, pray on behalf of God’s people. Keep on praying feverishly, and be on the lookout until evil has been stayed. And please pray for me. Pray that truth will be with me before I even open my mouth. Ask the Spirit to guide me while I boldly defend the mystery that is the good news — for which I am an ambassador in chains — so pray that I can bravely pronounce the truth, as I should do.

(Ephesians 6:18-20)

Response in Prayer

O Abba Father, I come to You knowing that the Holy Spirit is interceding for me now as I pray. I am so thankful to have the Holy Spirit living in me. I trust that the Spirit will empower me, transform me, and lead me. Today I am so thankful to know that I have access to Your heart at any time because of the Holy Spirit’s presence within me. I am so thankful that even when the words that I need don’t come, the Holy Spirit gives voice to my thoughts and emotions. For this gift, I thank You and praise You. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

‘A Year with Jesus’ is written by Phil Ware.

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from The Voice™. © 2008 by Ecclesia Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.