We Must Pray By The Spirit

November 16, 2013

Friends,
To pray by the Spirit is often agonizing. We may be fine and cheerful, but when we go before the Lord and ask Him to fill us with His Spirit by which to pray His will, not ours, we take on His concerns, His intercessions, His heart. And oh, the heart of God! We cannot even begin to describe it. His love is immense, His faithful compassions so merciful, His holiness so pure, His wrath against sin so full of His fire.

How can a mere human receive into himself the heart and mind of God and not be incinerated on the spot? Truly the intensity of the One whose Word commanded the mountains, the ocean’s valleys, and the galaxies to come into existence –and they therefore did so– could kill us instantly. How then can we speak out God’s Word by the Spirit, especially in intercessory prayer, and expect that our whole being will not come under strain? For without question, the Spirit in us does not always bubble with joy, but also groans and laments in pain. (Rom. 8:23,26)

Either way, though, –whether the Spirit flows out of us in joyous praise to God, or instead, in “great sorrow, unceasing anguish of heart” (see Rom. 9:2), “with much weeping” (see Acts 20:31 and Phil. 3:18), and “in prayers and petitions mixed with loud cries and tears” (see Heb. 5:7), emotion and exertion is definitely a part of praying by the Spirit.

But emotion and exertion are humbling. They use up our energy and time, and cause discomfort, even pain. Is this why people, even those who have the Spirit, resist praying in the Spirit? I believe it is a big reason.

But what happens when we do not pray by (in / from / through) the Spirit? Sadly, we are likely not praying in God’s will, or praying God’s will in. God has ordained that His people are to be partners with Him in bringing salvation and righteousness to the earth. We cannot do this, or do anything good, without prayer. And we cannot pray correctly (in the will of the Lord) without praying by the Spirit.

Let’s understand that we must determine and command ourselves (–this by the Spirit also) to go before God on a regular basis, ask Him to fill us with His Spirit (thus His heart and mind), and to open up our heart, our spirit, and our mouths so that we can praise Him, pray, intercede, and even weep, by the Spirit, and in accordance with the will of the Lord. (Rom. 8:27 // Eph. 5:18 & 6:18 // Jude 1:20)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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