Empowered From Above
“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 Lord’s people.”
Paul continues his warfare analogy to make his point that the Church, being involved in a spiritual battle, is indeed militant in advancing the cause of Christ. The primary weapons of our warfare are prayer and the Word of God. Like any army, being alert at all times is a must, how much more so in this spiritual battle for the souls of people. Since the real battle in advancing the gospel of Christ is fought in the spirit realm, our praying must always be “in the Spirit” or “inspired and guided the Holy Spirit.” Maintaining this lifestyle of continual watchfulness in prayer requires self-control, which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit as well.
The whole point of prayer is not the answers we receive, or the spiritual gifts that may be given. The whole reason for prayer is first and foremost contact with the Presence of The Living God. Prayer is about God and His desire to have all things on earth be aligned with all things as they are in heaven. Prayer is the means by which this alignment is accomplished.
Jesus made it quite clear that we all need someone to help us in this matter of God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven, and the Holy Spirit is that helper. Paul understood this truth and told the Roman believers “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for…” (Romans 8:26). A few years later Paul tells the Ephesian believers to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions.” Since it is the Spirit who downloads what is on God’s mind into our heart, it makes sense for prayer to be under Holy Spirit’s direction; Hence the need to be praying all kinds of prayers all the time “in the Spirit.”
Praying in the Spirit at all times
“Praying in the Spirit” does not always mean praying in tongues (the Heavenly prayer language), as some believe. While I believe that praying in tongues is one way we may pray in the Spirit; it is praying inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit that Paul has in view here. The Spirit who is also the Spirit of prayer, will not only help us know what is on God’s mind, but how and when to pray for it as we ought to. While in a fight for their life against surrounding nations, Israel to was promised help from above; “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication”(Zechariah 12:10). The devil has no defense against our Holy Spirit assisted praying!
Paul also reminded the Church at Corinth that in this fight to rescue the soul of humanity from the powers of darkness, our battle is supernatural and fought with weapons provided us from heaven. He writes; “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4-5).
Powerful Weapons at our disposal
Being guided by the Holy Spirit in his encounter with the devil in the wilderness, Jesus used the Word of God (“the sword of the Spirit” Ephesians 6:17) to defeat him. His response to each evil attack was always “it is written.” Praying in the Spirit using the Word of God leads to victory every time!
To have the all-knowing, all-powerful Holy Spirit’s gentle promptings and leading when we pray, always gives us the advantage over the darkness in this conflict. He will impart to us greater confidence each time we’re alone with God. Using the weapon of God’s written Word under the direction of the Holy Spirit, will bring us breakthrough after breakthrough when praying for others. The Holy Spirit will make each time we’re alone with God an amazing victorious encounter in His Presence.
So allow the gentle promptings of the Holy Spirit to inspire and guide you each time you pray. Continue to call on the Lord for help from above. Always Be alert, Be praying all kinds of prayers, Keep on praying for all the Lord’s people, Stand firm wielding the sword of the Spirit, and Be Encouraged! -JSP