Praying in The Holy Spirit
If you were to travel from one continent to another and you were given an option to travel on a bicycle or take a supersonic aircraft, which mode of transport would you prefer. Most of you would prefer a supersonic aircraft that travels faster than the speed of sound. It’s very quick and effortless that takes you to your destination with great ease.
Choosing a bicycle to travel such a long distance would not only be a tough but an impossible journey. As travelling on some rough terrain would be hazardous and no one would be able to cross the ocean on a bicycle. However, when it comes to praying most Christians choose to ride the bicycle instead of taking the supersonic aircraft, they choose to pray in the flesh, instead of in the Spirit.
If you travel on a bicycle you may be able to go a certain distance, but not all the way. Whereas, a supersonic aircraft takes no detours, it is precise, quick and efficacious. Similarly, praying in the flesh will not get you anywhere, but praying in the Spirit brings you to the perfect will of God, because the spirit is forever willing to pray but the flesh is always weak and unable to pray. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Mark 14:38 NIV).
Praying in the flesh will only lead to disappointments whereas, praying in the Spirit will lead you to victory. Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh, but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ (Romans 8:5-9 NIV).
Praying in the flesh is difficult. Try and focus on praying, for only 5 minutes without getting distracted. A Christian is supposed to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV). If praying for 5 minutes is tough, how can a person pray all the time, unless one is praying in the Spirit? Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere (Ephesians 6:18 NLT).
When a person prays in the flesh, he prays according to his will and desires, whereas when a person prays in the Spirit, the person is praying in accordance to the will of God. He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:27 NIV).
Most people don’t want to admit that they are weak and unable to help themselves, but the truth is we are all weak and we need help. God provides us His Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness, to comfort us, to guide us and to lead us into righteousness. 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 (Romans 8:26 ESV).
Praying in the Spirit is also known as praying in tongues. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit when a believer is baptised in the Holy Spirit. A person receives the baptism in the Holy Spirit after the person has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, for there is only one Baptiser in the Holy Spirit and He is Jesus Christ, the only Son of God the Father. Praying in the Spirit builds up your faith in God, which leads us to eternal life. You, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life (Jude 20-21 ESV).
If you have not received the baptism of the Holy Spirit, all you need to do is ask God to baptise you with His Holy Spirit. Some fear that they may receive some other spirit, although the devil does counterfeit the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you need not be afraid to receive the Holy Spirit from God, because God will only give you the Holy Spirit and not any other spirit. “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luke 11:13 NIV).
Praying in tongues is the most common of all the spiritual gifts. All the other spiritual gifts are for serving others and building up the church, but the gift of tongues, is to build yourself up, for your own edification. Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church (1 Corinthians 14:4 NIV).
Many people are sceptical about speaking in tongues because it does not make any sense to them. Does any language ever make any sense to you, if you don’t understand it? However, it makes perfect sense to someone who knows the language and understands it. Tongues is a spiritual language which unfolds mysteries that only God knows and understands. For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to people but to God. Indeed, no one understands them; they utter mysteries by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2 NIV).
Since tongues is a spiritual language full of mysteries which only God knows, that makes speaking in tongues the most powerful weapon in spiritual warfare. The devil has no clue what you are speaking, nor does he have any interpretation on it, which gets him defeated all the time. Praying in the Spirit edifies you and destroys the work of the enemy. Therefore remember, if you are not praying, then you are not fighting the devil.
Continually praying in the Spirit also lets you be filled constantly with the Holy Spirit, as you are being edified and remain in the presence and the will of God. One meal cannot suffice a person for the rest of his life, nor can one breath be enough to survive a lifetime. One has to be in-filled with the Holy Spirit every day. Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18 ISV).
Praying in the Spirit is effortless because all you have to do is yield your tongue and your vocal chords and the Spirit intercedes on your behalf. You have to do the speaking and the Spirit gives you the utterance. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Acts 2:4 ESV).
Praying in tongues is voluntary, you can start and stop praying whenever you wish. While you pray in tongues your mind is not participating in the praying. Therefore, a person can pray almost at all times. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful (1 Corinthians 14:14 NIV).
Many born again believers who have received this gift don’t use it much, because they don’t understand its mysteries and so refrain from speaking. My dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:39 NLT).
Praying in the Spirit is the gift given to all those who believe and are baptised in the Holy Spirit. These signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues (Mark 16:17 NIV).
There are many heresies associated with tongues and the simplest explanation I can give you is that; whenever God says something is good for you, the devil comes in immediately and sows doubt in your mind by telling you lies that it is not good for you. On the other hand, whenever God says that something is bad for you and you should avoid it, the devil shows up and says, you should definitely try it, for it is good for you and that he would highly recommend it. The devil started in the Garden of Eden and he is still continuing the same strategy.
Whom you listen to, has the capacity to influence you, and determine your destiny. Are you listening to God’s word or have you been listening to the devil? Are you walking in the flesh or are you walking in the Spirit? So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16 NIV). Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives (Galatians 5:25 NIV).