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Praying in the Spirit


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There are just some Bible verses, phrases, or subject matters that are more difficult to grasp than others. Understanding what "praying in the spirit" means is one of those such phrases. We open up the Word of God to teach us, contextually, how this phrase is used and how we can practice such today.

Published in: Spiritual
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  • Thanks for your study on “Praying in the Spirit.” First, some proof-reading: in your point #2, you say “are state objections” when clearly you mean “or state objections.”

    I came upon this study because I’m trying to understand when “praying in the Spirit” refers in Scripture to praying with tongues vs. praying in the power and leading of the Spirit. This study didn’t help me because it eliminates the first possibility right off the bat, with no Scripture-based justification given for the conclusion that “there is no biblical practice of tongue speaking today.” Knowing that Paul’s last word on the subject in 1 Cor 14 is “forbid not to speak with tongues,” and since I don’t know of any Scripture passage that actually states that tongues ceased at some point to be a valid gift, the unsupported assertion that biblical tongues no longer exist does not help me gain a Scripture-based understanding of praying in the Spirit.

    Again, however, I appreciate your making this information available. Thanks.
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Praying in the Spirit

  1. 1. Understanding and practicing the ability to “pray in the Spirit”. Eph. 6:11-18 Praying in the Spirit
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Some verses, phrases or subject matters are simply more difficult to grasp than others. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To generally know what is being said causes us to neglect contrary views or difficult questions. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>But when someone comes along to ask the questions are state objections the difficulties arise and your understanding may not be as clear as you’d like. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>Our “suggestion box” question provides just such an example. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does it mean to pray in the spirit or with the spirit? 1 Cor. 14:15 ; Eph 6:18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How does one know they are doing things in the spirit or with the spirit? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is a feeling or what? </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. What It Means to be In The Spirit <ul><li>Just as the Holy Spirit is said to dwell within us we are also said to be in the Spirit . Rom. 8:9 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Christians do not like the idea of a literal dwelling of the Spirit within the life of a believer: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NOTE: most, if not all, believers have no problem with the dwelling of our own personal spirit . </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. What It Means to be In The Spirit <ul><li>Because believers are in the Spirit the following truths also exist. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Holy Spirit gives life to the believer who is now dead to sin. Rom. 8:1-11 (v. 11) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He testifies with and intercedes on behalf of the believer. Rom. 8:16, 26-27 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversely, a believer walks and bears fruit of the Spirit. Rom. 8:4 (Gal. 5:22) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Passages In Question <ul><li>1 Corinthians 14:15 – Pray with the Spirit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The text is surrounded by the discussion of spiritual gifts. 1 Cor. 12-14 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>There were those who were speaking and/or praying in tongues (in languages) by way of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 12:6-12 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The exhortation was for them (who had the gift of speaking in tongues) speak/pray (‘with the spirit’) and interpret so as to be edified (‘with the mind’). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Because there is no biblical practice of tongue speaking today this passage does not technically apply to believers today. </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Passages In Question <ul><li>Ephesians 6:18 – Pray at all times in the Spirit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The apostle Paul couples the need for prayer for a successful walk/fight. Eph. 4:1, 6:11-18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This passage is applicable for believers today. Eph. 6:18 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Praying at all times for a godly walk/fight. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The different kinds of prayers needed: silent, vocal, secret, public, petitions, praise, etc. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>This phrase is no different than the believer’s walk being ‘in the Spirit.’ cp. Rom. 8:4-9 </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Passages In Question <ul><li>Jude 20 – Praying in the Holy Spirit. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This letter exhorts the faithful in how to deal with apostates that exist among the saints. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The contrast in the immediate text: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Those “devoid of the Spirit” who cause division. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Verses those who build each other up in the holy faith, being exhorted to pray in the Holy Spirit. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This is practically used in similar fashion as given in Eph. 6:11-18. v. 18. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Passages In Question <ul><li>Summary: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Praying in the Holy Spirit practically means to pray according to the will of the Spirit as He revealed through His word. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You know when you’re praying “in the Spirit”: when your prayers are consistent with the will of God. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is not a feeling but a parallel to one who “walks in the Spirit.” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Conclusion <ul><li>There will always be expressions that will give us pause in our understanding and practice of God’s word. </li></ul><ul><li>May we always pray ‘in the Spirit’ to grow in God’s wonderful grace and knowledge, that we may serve and fight for His eternal cause and our salvation. </li></ul>