The biblical commentary by John Gill states that when prayer is done correctly. It is always done in the Spirit and involves the heart, soul, and spirit.
The prayer is carried out in a sincere, upright, and unpretentious manner. And it is offered spiritually, with hunger, and with the inspiration and support of the Holy Spirit of God.
For a practical prayer life and refreshing Christian experience, we must engage in the art of praying in the spirit. For this reason, we will explore what praying in the spirit means; how to pray in the spirit, and the tremendous power that accompanies praying in the spirit in this article.
Praying in the Spirit is prayer with divine assistance. It involves putting your faith in God and depending on him to hear, comprehend, and act. When you pray with faith in Christ Jesus, you pray in the Spirit.
The first thing that the Spirit of God always does is give things life and vitality because He is the Spirit of life and enlightenment. As a result, when praying in the Spirit, we have a sense of being carried forward by the way the Spirit leads the prayer.
In this instance, praying in the Spirit entails perceiving the prayer coming to life by the Spirit of life.
What is Praying in the Spirit?
When you pray in the Spirit, you petition the Father in Jesus’ name, and the Spirit gives your request leverage.
The prayer is vibrant in its essence and accompanies tranquility, spontaneity, and a sense of fellowship. You are aware that you are conversing with God while He is present. Your mind is enlightened, your heart is moved, and you are free to speak and express yourself.
In contrast to praying in the flesh, we should pray in the Spirit. Spiritual lethargy, struggle in prayer, being tongue-tied, and having to force oneself to utter a word are shared characteristics of the attempt to pray in the power of the flesh.
Hence, the Bible teaches that the flesh profits nothing. But the spirit quickens (gives life). John 6:63. Praying in the flesh involves using human strength and willpower to overcome obstacles.
However, these efforts to overcome the barrier by human efforts are mere imitations of the vitality that the Spirit bestows in prayer. When we pray in the Spirit, the Spirit supports us in our frailty and intercedes on our behalf, following God’s will. (Romans 8:26–27).
Also See: Spiritual Warfare Prayers: 17 Powerful.
How to Pray in the Spirit
1. Pay attention to location; it could matter.
While praying in the Spirit does not necessarily require any unique location (Neither place nor duration of prayer determines praying in the Spirit), finding a place where you can relax and be free of distractions is a good idea.
This could be a peaceful area in your home; a church where it is not used; or an iconic spot in the meadows. The Bible gives us this in the most profound way by drawing an example from the life of Jesus. Luke 5:16 (NIV) tells us, “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Mark 6:46 gives us a hint of one of the places He often went to pray. It reads- “Jesus After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”
From Daniel 6:10, the Bible also gives an occasion when Daniel, in his usual manner, went home to his room upstairs, where the windows opened toward Jerusalem, and got down on his knees to pray with thanksgiving.
For believers, especially new converts or those learning the art of prayer, learning to pray in a private environment could be crucial in their quest for praying in the Spirit. This way, all distractions are shut out, creating room for a frictionless prayer time and experience.
2. Admit your inability to pray as effectively as you should.
You must begin by making this admission, acknowledge your lack of mastery to pray as you should. And come to an end with your propensity to try to pray on your own.
It would be best if you recognized the ministry of the Holy Spirit in your life; to help you commune with the Father. Romans 8:26 reads- “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
We do not know what we ought to pray for. But the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”
To admit our failure to pray, you must first acknowledge that praying is a spiritual activity; a submission to the Holy Spirit and that the strength of the flesh is entirely ineffective.
You should acknowledge your difficulties and dehydration and confess your lifelessness, malaise, and spiritual impotence to the Holy Spirit. In addition, you must refrain from being hasty when you come to your prayer alters and not assume that you already know what to say.
More importantly, you should converse with the Holy Spirit as you would with a person, asking Him to facilitate your communication with the Father. You can employ a favorite prayer to help launch you to the realm of praying in the Spirit.
For instance, you might say, “Holy Spirit, help me establish a connection with God.” It is also important to remember that praying in the Spirit does not always result in intense feelings of joy or the need to express your gratitude to God aloud. You can pray in the Spirit fervently and aloud or resolutely and silently.
3. Practice communion with God.
Communion involves sharing and reciprocity. In communion, you are not trying to force the moment, hauling yourself along, or attempting to discuss with a stranger.
Similarly, when you are in communion with God, the Spirit of adoption in you immediately places you in God’s presence. This way, prayer becomes a vibrant, living exercise of free fellowship and oneness.
Communion requires practice to achieve. A meaningful method to get closer to God is to spend some time in prayer each day. You will become much more accustomed to the sensation of the Holy Spirit if you invite Him in every time you begin to pray.
Like exercising any talent, praying in the Spirit becomes easier with practice. Philippians 4:9 (NIV) says, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
4. Learn to obey the Holy Spirit’s impulse.
Refusing to act on an urge to pray is the easiest way to snuff out the Spirit. For this reason, 1Thesselonians 5:19 (NIV) tells us – Do not quench the Spirit. Often, the Holy Spirit triggers nudges within us to pray.
It could be in a discomforting way, at an odd hour, or in the most unexpected manner. You could feel the nudge to say a prayer in class, in the mall, during a ride, or at the park. Therefore, as a believer, you should be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading.
You should understand that this is the Holy Spirit training you to obey His voice. It is the Holy Spirit trying to induce you to become conversant with His voice. This is He bringing you to a realm of deeper intimacy and communion.
When you obey the nudges of the Holy Spirit, you release yourself to limitless possibilities of God’s power, influence, and glory.
5. Trust the Holy Spirit to carry out His ministry.
We quietly place our faith in appropriately-crafted, theologically sound prayers that depend on appropriate language, tempo, emotion, and volume. However, praying in the Spirit does not require a singular approach. It is dynamic.
There are occasions when praying in the Spirit will not feel at all invigorating. It might assume a peaceful demeanor. Other times, it might come off as casual, and other times. Or it might make you want to groan.
Nevertheless, as a believer, you must trust the Holy Spirit to carry out His ministry of prayer and intercession in you.
You must trust the process of the Holy Spirit praying through you. John 3:8 (NIV) says- “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
Acts 2:4 (NIV) also says- “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.”
From the scriptures above, we can see that when one yields to the Holy Spirit and allows Him to perform His ministry, we gain unction and access to unimaginable realities.
However, in the biblical text that records the account of the disciples’ infilling on the day of Pentecost, we must understand that praying in the Spirit does not necessarily mean speaking in tongues.
Some believers see speaking in tongues as praying in the Spirit, but this is not a universal belief among Christians, the reason being that, at first, one must not speak in tongues to attain praying in the Spirit.
Secondly, while speaking in tongues in the Bible (apart from being evidence of receiving the Holy Spirit) is perceived as a unique gift to some Christians, praying in the Spirit is something that all believers should do.
6. Learn to pray for others.
Everything about God’s Kingdom is people-centered. The Bible is the story of God’s attempt at restoring the broken relationship between man and Himself. This is the reason for Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. The ministry of the Holy Spirit on the earth is also a mechanism to accomplish this goal. John 16:8.
Praying for others entails compassion for their souls. It is a pathway to deeper communion with God and connecting with people. When you cultivate compassion for souls and begin to pray for them, you avail yourself as a voice to pray the mind of God for them.
2 Peter 2:9b shows us God’s will for men. “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.“
When we pray for others, we launch ourselves to the ministry of intercession and reconciliation that God desires believers to function.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19 (NIV) says- “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
The Power of Praying in the Spirit
The power of praying in the Spirit is so great that when we pray in the Spirit, we strive for a more selfless prayer that enables us to be more moved; more present, and closer to God’s purpose.
When we pray this way, the Holy Spirit can enhance our prayers. We become conduits that bring God glory by surrendering to Him.
While praying in the flesh is asking for things that make us comfortable (such as career fulfillment, pleasure, or monetary possessions). Praying in the spirit entails asking for things that help us align with God’s purposes. We gain more self-control when we pray in the Spirit because we forego momentary temporal joys in favor of longer-lasting spiritual ones.
Also, we experience a strong desire to worship and exalt God while praying in the Spirit, a desire bestowed upon us by the Holy Spirit. We also become temples for God’s glory in this way.
More specifically, when we pray in the Spirit, we pray mindful of God’s presence, sanctifying our prayer and ourselves. This supports the effectiveness of prayer in the Spirit.
James 5: 16b summarizes the potency of praying in the Spirit. It explains that a righteous man’s earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer makes tremendous power available and is dynamic in its working.
Praying in the Spirit is a dynamic experience that involves a partnership with the Holy Spirit. You may not always experience bounties and new things in your day-to-day existence when you pray in the Spirit.
It is not a showy ritual. Instead, it is a prayer led by the Holy Spirit and selflessly offers God praise. It is the kind of prayer that sustains the spirit of man.
Again, whether or not we can log a lot of time in prayer does not determine how effective our prayers are. Instead, effective prayer requires our ability to attune our hearts to the Spirit of God.