“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 and the welfare of our cities. 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.”
The whole reason for prayer is first and foremost connecting with our Father in heaven. Prayer is about His desire to have all things in heaven and on earth brought under the jurisdiction of Christ (Ephesians 1:10).
Connecting with God is the means by which this accomplished. Jesus knew we would all need help for such an undertaking, so he sent the Holy Spirit to be our helper. Paul understood this and told the believers at Rome “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for…” (Romans 8:26). Have you ever found yourself at a loss for words when praying? I have, and it was the Spirit that helped my mind to articulate what my heart wanted to express. Thank you Holy Spirit!
Praying in the Spirit at all times
When Paul wrote “Praying in the Spirit on all occasions,” he didn’t mean praying in tongues (the Heavenly prayer language) all of the time, as some believe, it’s prayer that’s inspired and directed by the Holy Spirit that Paul has in view here. The Spirit will help us know what is on God’s mind, and how to pray for others as we ought to. The devil has no defense against our Holy Spirit assisted praying!
In this fight against the influence of darkness, our struggle is supernatural and fought with weapons provided us from heaven. Paul 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).
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 lie was always “it is written” (see Matthew 4:1-11). 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. God infuses us with greater confidence to overcome any challenge, each time we seek help from above.
Using God’s written Word under the Spirit’s direction, will bring you breakthrough after breakthrough when praying for yourself and others. The Holy Spirit will make each time you’re alone with God an amazing victorious encounter in His Presence. “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
Allow the Spirit’s gentle promptings to inspire and guide you each time you pray. Continue to confidently 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