Saturday, February 16, 2008

The Privilege and Power of Prayer (part 5)

II: The power of prayer:

Romans 8:26-27 "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Notice our utmost helplessness in the area of prayer. Paul says, "we know not what we should pray for as we ought." He includes himself in that helplessness. There are many facets about prayer that we do know. For example, we know to pray to God the Father, through the name of His Only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, and in the Spirit. But the matter or subject of prayer, the Bible plainly says: "we know not what we should pray for as we ought." How then may we pray? Who will help us in this vital area. The answer is in the text: it is the Holy Spirit.

It is the Holy Spirit who assists us or supports us in this matter of prayer. How proper it is for Him to be called the Comforter, or the paraclete (advocate, or one called along side). It is the Spirit "itself" who makes intercession for us. It is not a confluent matter. It is not that He uses our words, our thoughts, or our actions per se. Rather it is all the work of God alone. He, on our behalf, prays what we need, what we should ask for. This indeed is one of the most glorious works of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.

If we are going to have genuine, prevailing prayer, it is going to be a result of what Ephesians 6:18 calls: "prayer and supplication in the Spirit." Jude 20 puts it as: "praying in the Holy Ghost."

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