I recently shared with our District Presbytery Board that praying in the Spirit is possibly one of the most under-utilized resources of the Pentecostal believer. I make this statement because we don’t pray in the Spirit as often we should. The Lord has recently been speaking to me and renewing in me a passion for praying in the Spirit!
Consider with me some of the as-pects of this powerful resource which is available to every Spirit-filled believer! Jude tells us in verse 20 that praying in the Spirit builds our faith, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spir-it.” Donald Stamps made this state-ment about this verse in the Full Life Study Bible, “Build yourselves up: By praying in the Spirit. We must pray by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, i.e., by looking to the Spirit to inspire, guide, energize, sustain and help us to do battle in our praying.” We must encourage people to pray in the Spirit on a regular basis.
Paul told the church in Corinth in his first letter to them, “I thank God that I speak in tongues more (often) than all of you” (I Corinthi-ans 14:18). Paul also stated, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself” (I Corinthians 14:18). Paul speaks of how that he prays in the Spirit and he prays with his mind, “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what 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” (I Corinthians 14:14-15). In other words, he did both, he prayed in an unknown tongue and in his known language. We need to follow his example.
Another aspect of praying in the Spirit causes us to pray according to the will of God. Romans 8:26- 27 states, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot ex-press. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spir-it, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” I find that I do not always know what to pray in cer-tain situations but the Spirit knows exactly what the will of God is in every situation. So, instead of us praying with our limited under-standing, we can allow the Spirit to pray in accordance with God’s will. You cannot pray a more effective prayer!
Then we must create an atmos-phere of hunger for the things of God. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” As leaders, it is important that we allow our people hear us pray in the Spirit. It is not for the purpose of them imitating but for the purpose of instructing them.
Allow the infilling of the Holy Spirit to be renewed in you today and pray in the Spirit. I challenge you to create a hunger for the things of God, to remind people of the importance of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, and encourage them to pray in the Spirit!
*Unless noted, all scripture is from the NIV translation.