Pray in the Spirit

October 16, 2018

Romans 8:26… 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.

            Have you ever wondered about the meaning and value of prayer? Just last night, I discussed it with some friends. If God is sovereign and knows His plan, what difference can our prayers make?  We don’t change God’s mind. We do, however, want to know Him, and that takes communication. Paul reminds us of something we know but rarely articulate…sometimes we do not know what to pray for as we ought. In times like those, the Spirit intercedes for us. I have heard this explained as praying in tongues. I can appreciate the value of that interpretation but I wonder if that is what Paul wants us to hear.

1 Corinthians 14:15… What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit but I will pray with my mind also…

            In context, this is about praying in tongues. In my time as a Christian, and most specifically, my time as a teacher, I have found that not everyone speaks in tongues. I do not wish to alienate those who don’t, so I look at verses such as these with my heart open to the leading of the Lord. With regard to praying in tongues, I resisted the Pentecostal pressure to ‘get my tongue’. Their methods might have been a bit radical and, not necessarily Spiritual, so I asked God, Himself. I remember the night… I was praying at about 11:00 by myself and I said to God, “If speaking in tongues is from you, then I surely want it; but if it is not, then I surely don’t want it, and I will not imitate it. Not too many minutes later, I began speaking gibberish, or at least that is what it sounded like to me. I experienced a release in my prayers as I, on purpose, let the Spirit speak through me. Through the ensuing years, I have found that in my private prayer time seems to be when it matters most. I have seen confusion during corporate times. For that reason, I have confined it to my private prayer times. So that is my experience. What is yours?

            Paul talks about groanings that cannot be uttered. Speaking in tongues is utterance. The Spirit carries the thoughts of our hearts to the Father, no words.