THEOLOGICAL STUDIES

THE HOLY SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit and Believers (part 2)
The Holy Spirit and Prayer

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PRAYER

According to Rom. 8:26-27 what else does the Holy Spirit help us do?


This passage seems to point to the Spirit praying in addition to us praying to God. He searches our hearts and then prays to God on the basis of what He finds in our hearts. According to this passage why is the Holy Spirit eminently qualified to pray for us?

According to this passage the HS knows both us and the Father. Because the HS knows us, He knows exactly what our needs and hurts are. Because the HS knows the Father, He knows exactly how to pray to the Father regarding these hurts and needs. The result is that the Father always answers positively the prayers the HS prays on our behalf. Many times when God is working in our lives, He may not be answering positively our prayers; however, He is most likely working that way because He is responding positively to the prayers of the HS.


There is another way in which the HS prays for us. We need to be open to the leadership of the Spirit in prayer. If while praying I feel led to pray something, I need to go with it. For example, each morning as soon as I get up, I get on my knees and pray through the Lord's Prayer. The other morning I followed my regular routine. The moment though I started praying, I felt impressed to do something for somebody. This came totally out of the blue. I had not been thinking of that person. I had not come into contact with that person for quite some time. All of a sudden this person and their need pop into my mind. Because this happened while praying, I felt that I needed to do what I believed the Lord was impressing on my heart.

According to Jesus when we pray, in whose name are we to pray (John 16:24)?

When we say we pray in His name, we normally mean that we just attach Jesus' name to the end of the prayer. In other words we pray this prayer and then say, "In Jesus' name, Amen." By this we mean that we acknowledge that the only way we can come into the Father's presence is by Jesus' death and resurrection.

Praying in Jesus' name though also means that I come to the Father as Jesus' ambassador. In other words, when I come as Jesus' ambassador, I do not present my petitions; I present Jesus' petitions regarding the certain matter I am praying about. How do I know what Jesus would pray concerning this issue? By Jesus communicating to me through His HS.


Not only does the HS pray for us. According to Rom. 8:34 who also prays for us?


Now if we have these 2 praying for us, how in the world can we fail? If we do fail, then we have no one else to blame except for ourselves since these 2 pray for us. In fact I think that in the long run it is impossible for Christians to fail. Paul writes: "Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls, and stand he will for the Lord is ABLE to make him stand" (Rom. 14:4).

[It is interesting to note that this passage comes right after Paul claims that the Spirit of God's Son has made us God's sons. When we approach the Father in prayer, we need to approach Him as His sons. This means that although we are to approach Him with great dignity and respect, we can now approach Him also with boldness and confidence (Heb. 4:16).]

When my dad was Vice President of Safeway, people who worked for him were afraid of him. They had to make appointments to get to him at his office. On the other hand, as his son I was able to walk up to his office and, if he wasn't busy, I could go right in and see him. That was my right as the son of Carey Ford, Jr. In the same token since I am God's son, I can walk right into His throne room and confidently offer my prayers to Him, always remembering that it was the death of His Greatest Son Jesus who has made this possible.]

Approaching God with boldness also means that I should utter BIG prayers worthy of the God I am praying to. Look at the people in the OT and NT. They don't pray little prayers. Look at the following OT saints and list the things they prayed for, and then list God's response.


OT Saint What He Prayed For God's Response
Moses Exodus 14:13-28 .
Joshua Joshua 10:12-14 .
Elijah 1 Kings 18:37-39 .
Elijah 1 Kings 18:41-46 .
Hezekiah 2 Kings.. .


Well, the same God who answered these prayers is willing to answer our bold prayers too. Too often we reduce God to being the God who helps us find our car keys. Can you imagine, would you even think to ask the Queen of England to help you find your car keys? It's not that it's beneath her to help you find your car keys; it's just that she can grant you bigger things than car keys. Sometimes our prayers reveal to us how shallow we are in our relationship with the Lord.

I feel like I've recently experienced bold praying during the last 3 elections--the last 2 presidential elections and the last congressional election. A lot of conservative Christians were praying during the time leading up to the elections. Was it just a fluke that George Bush won in 2000? I don't know. After 9/11 occurred, many of us rejoiced that he had won the presidential election. During the 2002 congressional elections many Christians prayed specifically for the people running for the Senate. The events in Minnesota were either weird or were God's response to the prayers of a lot of people. The same occurred in the 2004 election. How in the world could John Kerry lose when he won more votes than any other presidential candidate in history with the exception of one person, the person who beat him?

Some Christians scoff at this. The mainstream media though is not scoffing at it. Since the 2004 election the mainstream media has been relentless in trying to undermine the influence of conservative American Christianity. They know something is up. They're just not sure. Many of us though believe that prayer has been the key to a successful Christian social political agenda.

We are not to pray these prayers for our glory but for His. How do I know if I am concerned about my glory or His? How do I respond whenever my prayers are not answered affirmatively or whenever I don't get my way? If I get angry, my prayer was all about me. If I sense peace and experience patience, my prayer was most likely about God. The last thing that God is going to do is to answer my prayers so that I can be gloried.