Greetings everyone, may this day be a blessing to you and may you in turn be a blessing to others.
“Drop in phrases” always make me question if they are appropriate or just filler material. Let me explain.
In a recent conversation I heard the phrase “pray in the spirit” used several times. I immediately thought there was something a little unclear or that the phrase didn’t say enough for it to be clearly understood. This was especially so since the phrase was uttered along with the advice to “pray in the Spirit for an hour and surely the Lord would answer that prayer and things would get better.”
The bible uses the phrase in three different passages; 1 Cor. 14:15; Eph. 6:18; and Jude 20.
May I encourage you to look these passages up and read and think about them. Please!
The problem with understanding what the Spirit of God intended for us to learn and to apply rests in the many ways that the Greek words “pray in” can mean. If we look at the references it becomes clear that it’s not the words that we are using but the matter of what we believe and are told and/or have been taught. Prayer is to be an expression of what we know from the Scripture and believe in our hearts.
Yes, I want peace. Yes, I want racial equality. Yes, I want healing for all who are sick and/or suffering. Yes, I want the Gospel to be freely proclaimed throughout the world to every generation. In Ephesians 6:18, Paul instructs us to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.” The Spirit being spoken of is The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, who was and is and will always be together with the Father and Son. We are to pray as He leads us. We are to pray according to His plans for us and others in every regard.
As we itemize our prayers and make specific requests we make them with the full knowledge that our will does not always line up with the plans and will of God. So, we follow the example of Jesus when he prayed on the Mt. of Olives Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.”
It cannot be better expressed than it is in the words of the Lord’s Prayer. “Thy will be done.” “Praying in the Spirit” is not an ambiguous drop in phrase. It is an encouragement to be humble, trusting, and sensitive to the needs of others in the name of the Triune God. God bless you and me as we pray in the Spirit!