3. Prayer in the Holy Spirit (continued)
What does God’s word say about the Holy Spirit?
9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ (Ezekiel 37:9. ESV.)
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,... 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:16, 26. ESV.)
17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:17. ESV.)
16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:16. ESV.)
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30. ESV.)
11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:11. ESV.)
When I pray, it is with the belief that though my words and thoughts are inadequate, the Holy Spirit intercedes and speaks on my behalf with “groanings too deep for words”. So, I never worry that God will misunderstand what I am trying to say or that my heart’s desire will not be conveyed.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27. ESV.)
Grudem states, “It seems more likely that the ‘sighs’ or ‘groans’ here are our groans. When Paul says, ‘The Spirit helps us in our weakness’ (v. 26), the word translated ‘helps’ (Gk. sunantilambanomai) is the same word used in Luke 10:40, where Martha wants Mary to come and help her. The word does not indicate that the Holy Spirit prays instead of us, but that the Holy Spirit takes part with us and makes our weak prayers effective.” (Systematic Theology, p. 382.)
So, back to the question, what does God’s word say about “praying (or being) in the Spirit”?
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:18. ESV.)
20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 20. ESV.)
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (Revelation 1:10. ESV.)
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (cf. Revelation 4:2. ESV.)
21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (Luke 10:21. ESV.)
21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." (Acts 19:21. ESV.)
1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— (Romans 9:1. ESV.)
8 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18. ESV.)
8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:8. ESV.)
Grudem states, “To pray ‘in the Holy Spirit’ then, is to pray with the conscious awareness of God’s presence surrounding us and sanctifying both us and our prayers.” (Systematic Theology, p. 382.)
For this study, I used Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem as secondary authority and God’s word, the scriptures, as primary authority on the matter. (Side note: This investigation is to answer questions I have regarding my faith. I encourage all who may read this to research this themselves, also, in the scriptures. The answers you seek, and the understanding, might be different from my own.) To catch the other parts of the study, click below:
(Source: Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. 1994, 2000. Grand Rapids, MI.)