Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
When I was still pastoring, I occasionally told my people, “The most important things I ever tell you, you already know.” This is especially true of what I have to say to you who are living in this day. Jesus warned us that great difficulties are going to come upon us.
In the first verses of John 16 Jesus said,
“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.”
You see why I said you already know what I have to say. I don't need to tell people with any spiritual awareness that we are under attack anymore than a quarterback needs to be told the opposition is out to get him.
Let me remind you of the list of spiritual armor in Ephesians 6. The passage climaxes with the words,
“Put on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the.Spirit which is the word of God, praying in the Spirit at all times with all prayer and supplication.”
I want to talk to you about Praying in the Spirit. The verses just before and immediately following the warning from Jesus in John 16 give us the promise of the Holy Spirit.
Look with me at the prayer depicted in John 15:7-8.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you. This is for my Father's glory that you bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples.”
Jesus said, “If you abide in me—”
We are to Pray in the Fellowship of the Spirit.
How much time do you spend in prayer? Many of us who serve God in these frantic days tend to be doers. God bless you who are not just hearers, but doers of the word. But lest all your activity become works of the flesh, you must empower it with extraordinary prayer. You can ask God to quiet your spirit and draw you deep into extended fellowship with Him. Is Jesus asking you, as he did the disciples in the garden, “Can you not even watch with me for an hour?”
We broaden our spiritual fellowship when we pray with others who also have the Spirit of God. In Greek, the original language of the New Testament, the words, “you abide,” are plural. We abide with Him together. When several of us pray together you can join your heart with what another prays. You can even pray off of their prayer. When someone lifts a prayer request in a group, several people can pray for different facets of the need as the Spirit promts. This even includes new believers already indwelt by the Spirit.
So, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you—”
We are to Pray in the Revelation of The Spirit.
If I had been one of the disciples before the crucifixion of Jesus, I might have prayed for Him not to be crucified. We need God to plant His heart and mind in us through His word.
I am trying to memorize some scripture. And I pray for God’s help as I work on those verses. I do not just pray for the words to stick in my forgetful mind. I pray to encounter Jesus Himself and to be transformed by the impact of His word.
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish—”
We Pray in the Freedom of the Spirit.
When we pray in the Spirit we have a freedom to pray whatever we wish. In Romans 8:26 Paul admitted that we do not know what to pray for as we ought. But we can trust the Spirit to help us pray with groanings and impressions deeper than words. In Matthew 17 Jesus said, if we have faith like a mustard seed we could tell a mountain to move and it would. But I do not need to worry about moving a mountain on top of your house because the Spirit of God is interceding in me. We especially see Him do this as we pray together. When I pray for a need, I may see only one perspective on a problem. But the Holy Spirit will impress others to broaden our perspective in the will of God.
Finally, “and it will be done for you. This is for my Father's glory that you bear much fruit—”
We Pray in the Power of the Spirit.
Many people in our day have come to believe that the weapons of our warfare are political.
But as we pray in the Spirit. God will unleash His power to bear fruit through our lives and through His church.
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