Monday, March 23, 2009

When the Spirit Moves You to Prayer

Ever wonder what your pastor was talking about when he ask you to pray in the spirit?  

Immediately we began speaking (praying) in tongues, assuming that this is what is required of  us. But is this the right action? Is this really praying int the spirit? And if so, is this the only way  to pray in the spirit ?
Praying in the Spirit or Holy Ghost is only addressed three times in the bible, Jude 1:20 “Praying in the Holy Ghost”; Ephesians 6:18 “in the Spirit” and 1 Corinthians 14:15 “pray with the Spirit” However, for some people these three verses are clear instructions for praying in tongues.  But,  to say that praying in tongues is the only way of praying in the Spirit is to limit the Omniscience mind of Elohiym 
What then is praying in the spirit?  A very interesting thing comes to light when we read Ephesians 6:18 in the NIV Bible says that we should be praying with “All kinds” of prayer, while the Amplified bible says with “all Manner” though parenthetically.  Why is this so important? I think first because it suggests that there are other manners of praying in the Spirit. And secondly because it makes clear that praying in the spirit is not a type of prayer, but rather how we are praying.
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God's consecrated people). Ephesians 6:18 (Amplified Bible)
 Praying in the Natural

Now history has warned us to be mindful, not  every man that says he is of Christ is of Christ, this is the purpose of the parable of the sower (Matt 13:3-23; Mk 4:2-20; Lk 8:4-15).  Sometimes the actions that we see in men are deceptive, or motivated in their desires. Jesus Said in  speaking of Judas Iscariot one of his own disciples “one of you is a devil” (John 6:70)   Now Jesus was not saying Judas was Satan but rather that the evils of the devil had already taken his heart.  Demas, a first century Christian that who followed the faith, and was even imprisoned with the Apostle Paul in Rome, was one of those seeds sown on rocky ground. The Apostle Paul writes to Timotheos (Timothy) about their mutual friend in his second letter saying “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10) 
For this reason The Apostle Paul warns us to Examine and test and evaluate our own selves to see whether we are holding to our faith (2 Corinthians 13:5a [Amplified Bible])
It is because we can be doing everything that appears to be right as seen from outside, but  what motivates us to do these actions, what is behind our actions, or more importantly, what is behind our prayers, puts value in our actions, put values in our prayers. Examine and test ourselves to be sure that our prayers are not for the natural or in the natural, but for the fullfilling of that for which we were called to do.
 Glazed Covered Prayers
 Like a coating of glaze over earthenware are fervent lips with an evil  heart. Proverbs 26:23 (NIV)
Nothing has bothered me more than the expression pray with fervent prayer, not that it’s not scriptural, Rather because men, even our leaders, sometimes associated eloquence of words, or crying during prayers, gyrations, and even speaking in tongues as fervent prayer.  But as we can see from the previous examples that a man can pretend to be anything he wants to be.  So than can a man say the right words to appear to be fervent, and sometimes he (or she) may even thinks they are fervent in their prayers.
There is no way we can measure the value of a person’s prayers, (how fervent it is) not by what we hear, or what we feel, or even know about that person. What may appears to be fervent to us, what appears to “usher in the Glory” (you choose the terminology) may be backed by personal gains and just hateful ways, only that person and God know what’s on their heart. We must allow the glazed covered prayer to pray right alone side the truly fervent prayers, the wheat alone side the tares, the eleven Apostles right alone side of Judas, because if we try to separate them we will drive away the saints, trying to get rid of the sinners. This is how Jesus dealt with this problem, this is how the bible deals with this problem, this is how we must deal with this problem, because only God can know the hearts of men.
 Praying in the Spirit
So to pray in the spirit is to pray in such a way as to be lead by the Spirit to pray. This can mean praying for something or even praying a certain type of prayer. More importantly I would say that praying in the Spirit is the prayer which was motivated by the divine influence of the Holy Spirit.
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 (KJV)

The above verse suggest that God is working in us, God is unctioning us to do what God would have us do.  We must realize more importantly, spiritual prayer is as much if not more an action of God as it is of us. Spiritual Prayer finds it origin in God and in our obedience to the Holy Spirit as the Holy Spirit unctions us. As we read the Amplified Bible this simple fact becomes abundantly clear that God is the origin of our spiritual prayer.
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 2:13 (Amplified Bible)
I think this is very important to understand that praying in the spirit is not speaking in tongues because that would mean to those that are not given that gift than God does not want your prayers. It would  mean that God has given to only a select few the ability to pray in the spirit, but the bible says that God is no respecter of men. 
So with confidence we can say that Praying in the Spirit is not praying in tongues. One can pray in tongues and pray in the spirit at the same time but one is not inclusive of the other. The foundation of Praying in the Spirit  has to do with your heart being right with God in prayer, and your ear being mindful of the work of the Holy Spirit in your life.  Praying in Spirit means that the Spirit of Elohyim has moved you to come to Yehovah in prayer and you are at least sensitive enough to know it to be true.

Your Brother In Christ

1 comment:

  1. Good word brother. As a post-charismatic, I say a hearty "amen." I love that passage you cited of Paul, that we are to pay "all kinds of spiritual prayers." The prayer of silence, the prayer of adoring love, the prayer of presence, the prayer of silent awe. If we limit this phrase "pray in the spirit" to "speaking in tongues," we limit our relationship with HIM. Perhaps, in Paul's lingo, God looks at much of our praying thusly as so much "sounding brass."

    I would also add brother that to "pray in spirit," is to pray IN HIM who is IN US, as our indwelling Savior, Lord, Teacher and Friend. It is to pray with a profound sense of HIS nearness to us.

    Your brother,