Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pray in the Spirit

In Ephesians 6:18 it says, “Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.” We read these words, and our tendency is to focus on the word pray. While this word is important, I think we need to focus on the phrase “in the Spirit.” What does it mean to pray in the Spirit?
Praying in the Spirit is about letting God's Spirit lead you to constant prayer. Often times we only pray when there is a crises, or when we have something specific to pray for. But we are called to "pray without ceasing," and this can only be accomplished when the Holy Spirit is directing us to pray. Second, praying in the Spirit is about praying with grace. We often bring judgment into our prayers. Instead we need to leave the judgment to God and simply pray with love and concern. In fact, Jesus did tell us to pray even for our enemies.
Third, praying in the Spirit is about learning how to let God’s words flow from us. This comes from knowing God deeply. The deeper we know God, the more we will know what God wants us to think, and wants us to say, and how God wants us to pray. For example, we may want to pray for healing for someone, but God may be using that sickness in the person's life to teach them to trust in Him, or for them to be an example to someone else who is sick. As we open ourselves up to God’s Spirit, God’s Spirit will help to lead us how to pray.
Lastly, we are to pray in the Spirit in all of our prayers, and all of our supplications. Even the simplest of prayers need to be offered through the guidance of the Spirit. This reminds us that God is concerned with even the minute aspects of our lives. To leave the Spirit out of any prayer will lead us to pray in our sinfulness and selfishness.
So let's try and incorporate this fuller aspect of prayer into our lives. If we do, we will pray with more power!