Slides: The Spirit of Prayer
The Spirit of Prayer
The Spirit of Prayer
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. 27 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.
Spirit in focus
- Spirit of freedom (8:1-4)
- Spirit of life (8:5-13)
- Spirit of adoption (8:14-17)
- Spirit of expectation (8:18-25)
- Spirit of prayer (8:26-27)
Pray in the Spirit
Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. (Ephesians 6:18)
Dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit. Keep yourselves in God's love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for. (8:26)
- Confused: no clear sense of direction
- Divided: confidence or submission?
- Overwhelmed: at a loss for words
We do not know what to pray for.
There was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:7-9)
Jesus fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” He went away a second time and prayed... and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing. (Mark 14:35-36; Matthew 26:42-44)
Prayers with cries and tears
During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrew 5:7)
… if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. (Romans 8:17)
- The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth. (8:22)
- We ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly. (8:23)
- The Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. (8:26)
Creation groans. We groan within creation. The Holy Spirit groans within us.
A hidden fire
Prayer is the soul’s sincere desire
Unuttered or expressed
The motion of a hidden fire
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of the eye
When none but God is near.
He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will… Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. (Romans 8:27, 34)
Searcher of hearts
The Lord looks on the heart. (1 Sam 16:7)
The Lord searches all hearts and knows every plan and thought. (1 Chron 28:9)
The Lord tests hearts. (Proverbs 17:3)
God knows your hearts. (Luke 16:15)
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Psalm 139:23)
Prayer involves Trinity
You received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15)
God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” (Gal. 4:6)
For through Christ we have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)
Trinity of love
The Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you… I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name… Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete… I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. (John 16:23-27)
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. (Romans 8:27)
Your Father knows what you need before you ask him. (Matthew 6:8)
God wills and works for your good
… the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (8:27-28)
God will only give you what you would have asked for if you knew everything he knows. (Timothy Keller)
If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)
I asked for strength that I might achieve; I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey. I asked for health that I might do greater things; I was given infirmity that I might do better things. I asked for riches that I might be happy; I was given poverty that I might be wise. I asked for power that I might have the praise of men; I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
Why keep asking?
- The Spirit stirs us to pour out our hearts and to love interacting with the Trinity.
- God gives many things we ask for and lovingly improves some of our requests.
- We become more sensitive to the Spirit, more like Jesus, more in tune with Father.
- Our prayers grow in power with God and impact on the world.