Anyone who would say “I’m satisfied with my prayer life” is probably complacent—just skating along. Those who love the Lord Jesus want to pray more effectively and powerfully. Prayer is our greatest privilege but also our greatest failure. We need the Holy Spirit to empower our prayers.
Romans 8 has key information for overcoming the enemy, Satan, through prayer. Praying with power according to the will of God is crucial. We must be effective in our prayers.
The Book of Romans is the “Constitution of Christianity,” foundational to our faith. Romans is the heartbeat of all great theology, and its eighth chapter is the heartbeat of Romans. In verses 26-27, two words stand out: Spirit and prayer:
Likewise, the [Holy] Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He [the Father] who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He [the Spirit] makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
When you commit to praying in the Spirit, the devil immediately works to interfere. The beans burn on the stove, the kids get in a fight, your phone rings right then—does this happen to you? Or is it just me?
Why such opposition? The devil fears your prayers. He levels Hell’s artillery at you so you end up thinking, “I must not be very good at prayer.”
How do we overcome this?
God has given you an ally—the Holy Spirit. He energizes, enlightens, and empowers you. (See Ephesians 6:18 and Jude 20.) To pray in the flesh is to fail. Your ministry is no better than your prayer life.
How does the Holy Spirit help us pray? In these five ways:
1. He works on your will. (See Philippians 2:13.)
Basically, we don’t pray because we don’t want to. The old nature wars against the Spirit. If you’re not filled with the Holy Spirit, your flesh says, “I’m not interested.”
How does the Holy Spirit work on your will? At salvation, God puts His Holy Spirit into you. (See Romans 8:15.) You must let Him activate your will.
2. He energizes your body. (See Romans 8:11.)
Prayer is hard work, but the same Holy Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead came into you when you got saved, giving you strength. (See Romans 8:26.)
The Holy Spirit comes face to face with you, takes hold of your burden, and helps to lift it. He’s on one side, you’re on the other, then you both lift that load. He gives you energy to pray.
As for your weaknesses, as God told Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you,” and “My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God makes us perpetually weak that we might be perpetually dependent, and thus perpetually powerful as we depend upon Him.
3. He adapts your prayer requests. (See Romans 8:26.)
The Holy Spirit comes alongside when you don’t know how to pray, showing you what to pray for.
4. He provides your access to God. (See Ephesians 2:18.)
When it feels like your prayers hit the ceiling and God seems light-years away, the Holy Spirit ushers you into God’s presence. You pray to the Father through the Son in the Spirit, who brings you right into the throne room.
5. He makes your requests clear. (See Romans 8:26-27.)
Sometimes certain things are so heavy we just can’t put them into words. That’s when the Spirit takes over for us, making intercession “with sighs too deep for words”.
I’ve been where I could only say, “Oh, God.” That was it. The Holy Spirit interceded: “Father, Adrian doesn’t know all we know about this, so just take his prayer and apply it to this situation.” He makes intercession for us.
But to have the Holy Spirit and pray in the Spirit, first you must be saved. (See Romans 8:9.)
On the other hand, you can be saved and still not pray in the Spirit, because, though you have the Holy Spirit, He doesn’t have you. You need to pray:
Oh, God, I admit the problem in my prayer life is that I’m carnally minded. I don’t want to pray. I’ve been walking according to the flesh, not the Spirit. Lord, I take myself off the throne, and I enthrone the Lord Jesus. Fill me with the Spirit. Right now, Holy Spirit, I yield my heart, my life afresh to You. Fill me, Spirit of God. Take control of my life. In Jesus’ name.
Those of you who’ve never truly been saved, right now you can pray and ask Jesus Christ into your heart.To read more on this topic, click here.
Who is Jesus? It began with Him...and it will end with Him! The little baby in Matthew is the mighty God of Genesis and the Alpha and Omega in Revelation. In this series, you will see that Jesus did not have His beginning as a babe in Bethlehem—and it will become clear that history has a date with deity. Yes, Jesus is the key to the mystery of history.