What is "Praying in the Spirit?" Is it the same thing as "praying in tongues?" Is it a "Prayer Language?" Or something much more?
Can anyone pray in the Spirit?
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.
1 Corinthians 14:14-15
When a person "prays in the spirit" they find themselves praying at a new level, in a super-charged state, generally far above their usual capacity, beyond their typical understanding -- they may use words they do not fully understand, and issues may arise that they had no idea they should pray about; praying in the Spirit is a supernatural form of prayer, it is God-led prayer. It is the Holy Spirit leading you in prayer to places you had absolutely no idea you needed to visit, it is God shaping your prayer, it is God edifying you, strengthening you, empowering you with dynamic supernatural strength and understanding. Dynamic Prayer.
Prayer is often the struggle, a tiny, petty human attempting to understand the ways of God, to accept the will of God, the battle to allow God to replace our ridiculously selfish will with His own incredible, beautiful, mysterious will -- the battle between spirit and flesh. We want to do it our way, we think we have the formula figured out, we think our studies and thoughts have been fruitful, and that we are the experts, and yet God says: "No, you know nothing of Me, but if you allow Me to lead you, I will lead you into all truth."
Man, in all his learning, in all his years of climbing upon the shoulders of giants, knows nothing of God, understands a pitiful handful of facts (and those are generally scrambled and argued and misunderstood), and constantly turns what God says in clarity, into chaotic mush fit for idiots. God says do this, and man replies, God says do that (with a hint of this thrown in).
But the Holy Spirit is the great clarifier, He takes what is mystery and converts it into human words so that humans might walk with God, talk with God, follow the correct path -- and then other men take what the Holy Spirit has revealed and they mash it into chaotic mush, they claim that the Holy Spirit takes sense and crumples it into nonsense. We know nothing of God, every molecule of our being leads us in the wrong way, in our own way, but the Holy Spirit constantly contends with our willful ways, the Holy Spirit is not concerned with the ways of man -- He pulls us toward the ways of God:
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen,
nor ear heard, neither have entered into
the heart of man, the things which God
hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by
his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all
things, yea, the deep things of God. For
what man knoweth the things of a man,
save the spirit of man which is in him?
even so the things of God knoweth no
man, but the Spirit of God.
Now we have received, not the spirit of
the world, but the spirit which is of God;
that we might know the things that are
freely given to us of God. Which things
also we speak, not in the words which
man's wisdom teacheth, but which the
Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual
things with spiritual. But the natural man
receiveth not the things of the Spirit of
God: for they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because they
are spiritually discerned. But he that is
spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself
is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the Lord,
that he may instruct him? But we have the
mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:9-16
The Holy Spirit constantly leads us back toward the will of God, toward the things of God, toward obedience to God -- the spirit of man knows nothing of God, the spirit of man is a temporary thing, it is part of the "natural man," whereas the Holy Spirit is not of man, is not concerned with the things of the flesh, the things of the temporary. He, the Holy Spirit, is concerned with the things of God, eternal things, the REAL things -- our life is not reality, but a temporary passing of the winds, nothing in this life is permanent, nothing in this life lasts forever, this life is a whirling, whirring spiral of constantly moving molecules, nothing sits still, nothing sits permanent.
The Holy Spirit leads us to God, REVEALS God to us, presents God in understandable ways, bit by bit, so that man might draw nigh to God. The Holy Spirit is God shaping our clay, shaping the clay of our mind, renewing our mind, giving us the Mind of Christ. The Holy Spirit brings our pitiful human mind into concert with the Mind of Christ.
But the natural man receiveth not
the things of the Spirit of God: for
they are foolishness unto him:
neither can he know them, because
they are spiritually discerned. But
he that is spiritual judgeth all things,
yet he himself is judged of no man.
For who hath known the mind of the
Lord, that he may instruct him? But
we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:14-16
Is the mind of Christ chaotic? It is inarticulate? Is it gibberish? Babble? Much speaking? Vain repetitions? Blowing the bugle without knowing the commands? Or is it reason, calm understanding, peace, order and logical? The Bible says here that with the Holy Spirit things are judged spiritually, he that is spiritual judgeth all things.
The Holy Spirit teaches our willful, militant minds; the Holy Spirit is the secret to understanding. We thrash around, complaining, desiring, lusting, we gush in idiotic syllables, and the Holy Spirit hushes us, the Holy Spirit takes our groans and make sense of them. The Holy Spirit opens new yearnings inside of us, yearnings we can't understand or explain, but yearnings that lead us away from the world, and into obedience in God, obedience to God.
The Holy Spirit opens our mental eyes to the truth, He leads us into truth, despite our ignorance, despite our lack of intelligence, despite our stupid ideas, despite our slow speech and inarticulate babblings. The Holy Spirit will lead us into all Truth, if we allow Him to operate in our lives, if we listen to Him, if we desire Him and pray for Him.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but
ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when
He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide
you into all truth: for He shall not speak of
Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that
shall He speak: and He will shew you things
to come. He shall glorify me: for He shall
receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
All things that the Father hath are mine:
therefore said I, that He shall take of mine,
and shall shew it unto you.
The Holy Spirit constantly intercedes for us. We need His help, His input, His direction. We can't do it on our own. We can't do it by studying. We can't do it by seeking. We can't do it by applying knowledge, or logic, or our own wisdom. The Holy Spirit constantly helps us, and leads us where we need to go, and when we allow Him to empower our prayer, we will pray at a new level. Spirit, and Understanding, you cannot possibly have one without the other, that's why the Bible so constantly links them together, spirit and understanding, spirit and truth.
We don't know ourselves and we certainly don't know God. But God knows us and our deepest thoughts, thoughts we can't even define let alone voice. He constantly seeks us out, searches our most deep crevices, our most inward parts -- God knows us, and He, the Holy Spirit can bring to the surface what needs to be seen, what needs to be worked on, what needs to be pruned away, what needs to be examined, what needs to be washed, what needs to be cleansed.
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin
did my mother conceive me. Behold, thou
desirest truth in the inward parts: and in
the hidden part thou shalt make me to
know wisdom. Purge me with hyssop, and
I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be
whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy
and gladness; that the bones which thou
hast broken may rejoice. Hide thy face
from my sins, and blot out all mine
iniquities. Create in me a clean heart,
O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and
take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore
unto me the joy of thy salvation; and
uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will
I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners
shall be converted unto thee.
The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD,
searching all the inward parts of the belly.
But this shall be the covenant that I will
make with the house of Israel; After those
days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in
their inward parts, and write it in their
hearts; and will be their God, and they
shall be my people.
The "heart" is our mind, our thoughts, our feelings, and the "inward parts" are our deepest thoughts, those we hide even from ourselves, those things we have a hard time admitting, even to ourselves, let alone others; we might even think we have kept it secret from God Himself. But God knows. The "breath" with which He empowers us, our life force, He also employs to know us. Not only does God know the number of the hairs on our heads (Matthew 10:30, Luke 12:7) but He knows every secret thought (Deuteronomy 29:29, Daniel 2:22).
God knows us, He is constantly sifting through the thoughts of our hearts, the flotsam, the mental wreckage, the pathetic attempts at seeking truth, at holding onto knowledge -- and it is God's will that we gradually empty our hearts of this temporary life, and allow Him to fill us with what is in the heart of God, what is in the mind of the Holy Spirt, what is eternal, that which will never pass away. Our thoughts become His thoughts. Our actions come into agreement with His will. We learn to obey, we learn to accept His molding, His shaping fingers in our low materials, our damp clay.
I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of
my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and
might, and hast made known unto me now
what we desired of thee: for thou hast now
made known unto us the king's matter.
If we attempt to "pray in our own spirit," it will amount to nothing. Just babble. Worthless trash, susceptible to other powers beyond our foul and vain imagainations. Our spirit knows absolutely nothing of God, even after baptism, even after the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (never confuse the Holy Spirit with our spirit, even when the Holy Spirit lives within us), we are still weak, we are still flesh, until that day comes when we are made REAL, in the twinkling of an eye. The spirit of man only knows the things of man, and the Holy Spirit knows nothing of the things of man, but only the things of God. It is IN THE HOLY SPIRIT that we are to pray, because He, God, knows us, knows us better than we can even know ourselves. It is the Holy Spirit that leads us into all truth, not our own life force, our own beliefs, our own vain imaginations.
Do not vainly think that you are "part god," because you are NOT. Do not vainly think that you ARE god, because you are certainly NOT. You are weak, you are flesh, and you sin. If you think you do not sin, you are only lying to yourself. Do not think that you have been made eternal, for you have not. Do not think that any Gift of the Holy Spirit makes you are more special person, for the Holy Spirit humbles us and shows us our complete and constant need of a Savior, that our righteousness IS filthy rags, only Christ's covering righteousness makes us acceptable to God.
Throw yourself at the feet of Jesus and cry: "Save me! I am yours!" He will not judge you. He will cleanse you.
If you don't know what to say, be silent. Allow God to speak to you (don't force or self-generate a ridiculous man-made fabrication, let God speak). Allow God to speak through you. He will lead you to pray for what you ought, if not for yourself, then for others: "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perserverance and supplication for all saints." Ephesians 6:18 This is part of the "Whole Armor of God." Praying in the Spirit -- God leading you in prayer.
Ways to aid this ministry include praying for these sites:
www.TruthSeek.net, www.DeceivingtheElect.net, and www.DramaticParables.com, donations and provision may be gifted using the TruthSeekGift page (and please only use this if you feel you are inspired by God to do so), and also feel free to use the Prayer Request page to submit prayer requests, and praying for the prayer requests of others, as well as exploring the various advertisements and links on these pages (regrettably, the advertising is necessary to recompense the many costs of keeping a website running, so exploration of the advertisers, which are not connected to any of these studies, is greatly appreciated). Any aid is joyously accepted, even if that means a smile and a well-wish, or a simple prayer. Thank you so much!
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel...
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; Whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him: but ye know Him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.