Prayer is also a spiritual work. Because it is a spiritual work, it is inspired, and animated by the Holy Spirit. True prayer is not the result of our own mind, it is not the result of our higher learning, it is a work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer.
Romans 8:26-27, “Likewise the 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 who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
There are countless times when in the stillness of the morning, before my hectic schedule begins, I go before God in prayer without knowing what to pray for. I just want to start my day in His presence, having fellowship with Him, and so I go in my office and I commune with God. During that time, I begin to pray about things that I never considered praying for, or planned on praying for. My mouth opens, I begin to speak, and I know the words I am speaking were not pre formulated, nor had I thought to speak them. This is the best way I can explain this melding together of our spirit and the Spirit, wherein He, Himself, makes intercession for us.
The Spirit knows that which we need better than our physical mind does, because the Spirit does not take into account what the flesh needs, but rather what the spiritual man needs. As such when He makes intercession for us, it is the spiritual aspects of our existence He makes intercession for.
Another aspect of this passage that I find humbling is that the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. A groaning is the voicing of a deep inarticulate sound as of pain or grief.
When the Spirit intercedes on our behalf, it is with passion, it is with groaning, it is with fervor. I submit to you that if we prayed and interceded for others as well as for ourselves with the selfsame passion the Spirit intercedes on our behalf, we would see the power and glory of God within the church in such a way as to amaze even those of us who know, believe, and stand on the promises of God. The Spirit intercedes with groanings, and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
We are not alone. We are not abandoned. God did not simply wind up this round rock and is now sitting idly by watching it spin out of control. It is God’s will that the Spirit make intercession for the saints, it is God’s will that we walk in power and authority and victory. God answers when He is called. He gives when we ask. He opens when we knock.
It is through the solemn act of prayer, of communing with God, that the Spirit directs us as to how we should pray, and what we should pray for. There is always a need in our lives, and most times the most important need is one we overlook because we are still woefully consumed by the here and now, by the comfort and ease of these husks of flesh, than by the wellbeing of our spiritual man. The Spirit knows what we need, the Spirit knows what is essential in our life, and He makes intercession for us, or petitions God on our behalf for that which He knows we cannot do without.
If we were to make out a list of things we thought we needed, or issues we thought we needed to pray for, then coming into the presence of God allowed the Spirit to make intercession for us, I guarantee the things the Spirit intercedes for on our behalf will be very different than what we had written on the list.
For example, we might pray that God spare us from a certain trial or hardship, but the Spirit interceding on our behalf would ask God to give us the strength to endure it, and come through it victoriously.
Even during those times when I have an idea of what it is I want to petition God about, the way in which I actually pray the prayer, from the way in which I had planned on praying it, varies drastically, because it is the Spirit making intercession, knowing what we should pray for as we ought.
Jude 20-21, “But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”
So are all prayers inspired or animated by the Holy Spirit? Are all prayers praying in the Holy Spirit? Obviously not! Those formulaic prayers, those passionless prayers, those prayers we pray out of duty rather than desire, are nothing more than our words, and our ruminations.
Prayers filled with fire, and passion, and pathos however, prayers prayed out of desire for God and the things of God, will always have an element of the Spirit’s intercession in them.
The number one reason for most spiritual failures in today’s day and age, is the fact that we spend more time talking to other individuals than we do talking to God. We look up to men, we have expectations of men, we place our hopes in men, when it should be God that we look up to, and place our hope in. Men will fail you, God never will.
Prayer produces sanctification in our lives, and it draws us closer to God. Prayer opens the lines of communication between ourselves and the Father, and keeps us connected to the source of life without which we can have no life.
Revelation 5:8, “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.