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Pray in the Spirit

by Robert J. Young
Main and Oklahoma Church, McAlester, Oklahoma
October 9, 2002
©, 2002, Robert J. Young
[permission is given to reprint with credit noted]

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints." (Ephesians 6:18)

These words from Paul are echoed in Jude 20. What does it mean to pray in the Spirit? Many would immediately remember that the Holy Spirit is intercessor in prayer (Rom. 8:26-27). Consider these thoughts when you pray.

1. Pray in faith.
Prayer must be in faith, nothing doubting according to James. Jesus said we will receive when we pray in faith. The role of the Holy Spirit in inspiring the word suggests that prayer in the Spirit must be in faith.

2. Pray fervently.
Jesus told a parable in which a woman received her request because of her constant asking. Fervent prayers are warm prayers; Spurgeon wrote that "cold prayers ask the Lord not to hear them." If we do ask fervently, we do not ask. Prayer is no place for the lukewarmness condemned among the Laodiceans in Revelation 3. Certainly the Holy Spirit warms our spirits.

3. Pray humbly.
The Holy Spirit does not puff us up. If we hear when he convinces of sin, we will be contrite and broken in spirit and broken in heart (Ps. 51:17).

4. Pray lovingly.
Meaningful prayer to God exists in the atmosphere of the love of God--his love for us, and ours for him. Intercession reflects our love for others, for other Christians and for the hurts of our world.

May God help us pray in the Spirit. May he help us understand so that we will not ask amiss, seeking selfish ways to advance our own standing.


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Last updated October 11, 2002.