Well to set some context, my pastor has been preaching from Ephesians. Yesterday during church he talked about praying in the spirit. I felt like he was speaking directly to me and I got alot from this message that I thought I would share with you.
Ephesians 6:18 says "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,"
Praying at all times in the Spirit. What does this mean and what does it look like?
I remember my pastor saying that sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night and it could be the Lord saying "Why don't we spend time together now?" I hadn't thought of it that way before.
My pastor said that we should be making supplication, specific request for our brother and sisters for the cross. We shouldn't say that we will pray for them and then fail them by not doing it or forgetting about it. We should be coming alongside them. This convicted me. Too many times I have said "Sure I'll pray for you." or say on Facebook that I'm going to pray for them and then sometimes forget. I know I shouldn't be doing this. That's not right. Don't say you are going to pray for someone and then forget to do it. I've seen myself do this but now I've changed my ways. Now when I see someone post a prayer request on Facebook I'll stop what I'm doing and pray for them right then and there so I know that I really prayed for them and comment afterwards.
Praying in the spirit means that the Spirit helps us when we pray
Romans 8:26 says "In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;"
I remember my pastor saying that if our prayer is a desire of/in the flesh, that the answer if already no. It must be His will and not ours.
Praying in the Spirit means that the Spirit prays on our behalf
Romans 8:27 says "and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."
Praying in the Spirit means that the Spirit makes God accessible.
Ephesians 2:18 says "for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father."
Praying in the Spirit means that the Spirit gives us confidence when we pray
Romans 8:15-16 says "For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" 16The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,"
Galations 4:6 says "Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!"
The Spirit moves the truly converted to cry out Abba Father, like a child talking to his or her daddy. There is intimacy and trust with their heavenly Father and it comes from the heart.
Last but not least my pastor talked about the devil trying to thwart this.
He said the devil may not come directly at you but may come to you through someone you know. I've seen this happen to me before. Satan using one of my friends to attack me. Satan will attack you when you least expect it. My pastor said he's really good at guerrilla warfare. We need to be on the alert, aware of our surroundings. He won't stop if he think he's got a good hold of you.
No believer alone can stand alone in this battle. At the end of the sermon he asked the congregation these questions that I now ask you.
Who do you find yourself praying for everywhere and at anytime?
Is there anyone that you do that for?
My pastor said that he hoped that there was someone that you do that for. If you didn't have someone that you were doing that for, pick someone to do that for and start doing it immediately. Please consider what I've said.. Let's start praying more for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. They need all the encouragement and prayers they can get.