When Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:18 to “pray in the Spirit,” he is urging us to pray as the Spirit enables us to pray or to pray by the power and direction of the Spirit. In other words “pray in the Spirit” is not a command; it’s an offer of help—help that is available for any praying believer, anytime, anywhere.
The Holy Spirit is the great prayer helper and is eager to guide us in who and what to pray for. He is on the lookout for believers who will pray for what God wants to do. How practically does the Spirit do this? He may do it by giving you a burden—such a deep love and concern for a person or a cause that it weighs on you. He may do it by giving you an unexpected thought—a thought that breaks in so abruptly that you ask, “Where did that come from?” He may do it by giving you a strong impression—a sense that He wants you to pray about something so that He can act in response to your prayer. He may do it by making a scripture verse come alive in your heart so that you are reminded of a person or situation that needs prayer. The Spirit has control of our hearts and minds and emotions. He can cause a burden, thought, impression, or insight at anytime to guide us in prayer. If you are not certain that a prompting to pray is from the Spirit, then ask God for the wisdom that He promises to give “generously to all” who ask in faith (James 1:5). He will give the wisdom that He promised so you can be certain.
It is no wonder that Jesus strongly urged believers to pray for the Holy Spirit and promised that the Father in heaven would most certainly “give the Holy Spirit to those who ask” (Luke 11:13). If you have ever asked yourself, “What is the first step I should take in order to improve my prayer life,” then here is the answer. Ask the Father for the Holy Spirit, trust that He gives you the Spirit, and then lean on the Spirit for the help He gives in every aspect of your prayer life. He is willing; He is able; and He will do it.
Thank You, Father, for the gift of Your Holy Spirit! Help me to be continually aware as He works around, in and through me to encourage my heart towards prayer. May I be looking for the Spirit’s promptings and burdens so that I never miss an opportunity to pray as He directs! Lord, I ask in faith for the wisdom You promise to give generously so that my prayer life is filled with purpose and is always in agreement with You! May I never choose to lean on my own understanding, but continually follow the leading of the Holy Spirit all the days of my life.
–Adapted from Praying God’s Heart (Prayers that Make a Difference) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for all his mighty works (Ps. 46:8-10), for his power, his majesty, his magnificent splendor over all the earth. Thank God for this psalm’s very clear and uplifting picture of God’s grandeur. Confess that you sometimes live as if God were small, powerless, and expendable. Commit yourself to serving this grand and glorious God with humility and reverence. Ask God to reveal something of his splendor in your life this week.
Pray that “the works of the Lord” might be so evident as to draw unbelievers to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Ask for spiritual blinders to be removed.
Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend.