PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT
When you hear about praying in the Spirit, what comes in your mind? This subject of praying in the Spirit has attracted a lot of concern especially in our Christian Unions and a number of brethren and today, I prayed for God to give me some insight about it. Many of us think that praying in the Spirit is “constrained” to the gift of speaking in other tongues, today; I bring us an in-depth perspective. It’s praying “IN” Spirit, right? Let me begin with this conjunction “IN”, It can mean “by the means of, with the help of, in the sphere or the set of and perhaps in connection to.” Praying in the Spirit does not translate to the words we are saying. Rather, it refers to [how] we are praying. Praying in the Spirit is praying
according to how the Spirit leads. It is simply, praying for things the Spirit leads us to pray for. Let’s begin with Romans 8:26 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us
in our weakness. We do not know [what we ought] to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
Let’s examine well this scripture; 1Corinthians 14:12-15 “Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” Some Christians, based on verse 15, equate praying in the Spirit with praying in tongues. Mentioning the gift of utterance in tongues, Paul states that when a person prays in tongues, he does not know what he is saying; since it is spoken in a language he does not know. Furthermore, no one else can understand what is being said, unless there is an interpreter. Read 1 Corinthians 14:28 “But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to [himself] and to [God]. This is an indication that speaking in tongues is strictly between you and God unless an interpreter comes in.
So, if praying in Spirit is constrained to speaking in tongues as most of us suppose, does it mean in our gatherings, joint-fellowships and collective services we don’t pray in Spirit? Since the scripture is clear that we should keep silence in church except there’s an interpreter!!! In Ephesians 6:18 “Praying always with all prayers and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;” Here, Paul instructs us to pray in the Spirit on (all occasions) with all kinds of prayers and requests. My question is; How are we to pray with all kinds of prayers and requests and pray for the saints, if no one, including the person praying, understands what is being said? Therefore, praying in the Spirit should be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit, and according to His will, not as praying in other tongues. The Spirit of God knows His will for our lives. God’s Spirit aligns our heart’s desires and God’s will, and prays that for that to come to pass! Praying is Spirit is praying in conformity to God’s will by help of the Holy Ghost who aligns our desires to God’s will.
Praying in other tongues is just a gift of the Holy Ghost and it plays a crucial role while praying in the Spirit but it does not mean that it’s the only way perhaps of praying in the Spirit. Speaking in other tongues is crucial for the following purposes;
1. Personal edification
Sometimes we are so overwhelmed we don’t even know what to pray. There are times when words fail and human intelligence fumbles with the articulation of what it is we need. When life knocks the breath out of you, God really understands the words contained in a single tear. When words fail, we can rely on the Holy Ghost to pray through us. Relying on the Spirit to pray “builds up” or edifies your spirit man in the places where you need it most. Read Romans 8: 26-27“We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the
mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.”
- 2. Aligns our desires with the Will of God
This is because; the Holy Ghost searches our hearts, all things and the deep things of God. Read 1Corinthians 2:10″But God has revealed them unto us by the Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, to the deep things of God.” He already understands what we don’t even know how to say. He knows what we want, we
need, He knows our hurt and what we long for…he searches every feeling we have! The Spirit of God prays for what we need and aligns our hearts with His own. If we desire something that really isn’t Gods best, then the Spirit gives us the ability to let go of what we think we want, so we can receive something so much better.
- Spiritual Warfare
When you pray in other tongues, no demon can understand you. This gives you the advantage of surprise. Praying in tongues is communicating directly to God: that is, you are speaking mysteries. Let’s read 1Corinthians 14:2-5″ For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries. But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.”
My dear brothers and sisters, praying in tongues is very crucial, perhaps myself I love so much praying in the tongues of angels to say but let’s use this gift with knowledge and keep the flock of Christ together. Since it is a gift, we should not impose on every believer, let them know based on its advantages as I partly listed above and desire in their hearts. This is my conclusion: 1Corinthians 14:12″Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.”
By Prince Lusakha P
October 07, 2018
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