By Lauren Maggs.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Paul in Ephesians 6 encourages the believers to pray in the Spirit. This instruction is given within the context of standing firm against the enemy. Prayer is the final tool of the Spiritual amour we are given. It is also how we use all the other parts of the armour mentioned in Ephesians 6. As Christians in the world today, how do we use this weapon of prayer and pray in the Spirit?
1. Pray according to the work of the Spirit
The book of Ephesians mentions what the Spirit has accomplished. As we read through the book, we see that the Spirit is a deposit guaranteeing an eternal life with the Lord (1v14). It is by the Spirit of wisdom and revelation that we will know God better (1v17). It is through the Spirit that both Jews and Gentiles have access to the Father (2v18) and become a “building”, a united people, indwelt by the Spirit (2v22).
It is the Spirit who strengthens us with power in our inner being (3v16) and who unites believers in a bond of peace (4v3).
All this glorious work is the work of the Spirit. We should be aware of the work of the Spirit so that we can pray that God would do this work through his Spirit.
2. Pray being prompted by the Spirit
John Bunyan, famous author of The Pilgrim’s Progress, said, “Prayer is a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Spirit, for such things as God has promised.”
We pray according to what God lays on our hearts so that God can accomplish His own purposes by answering those prayers. When something or someone pops into your head, pray for them according to the work of the Spirit. Pray that they would know God. Pray that they would be strengthened by the Spirit.
We get the picture here of a dad coming home with presents for his kids. He prompts them to ask so that he gets to give them what they have asked for. In this, we see that all the glory goes to God. Not only does He answer, but He prompts us on what we should ask for in the first place.
3. We can pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests
Because of the finished work of Christ, our prayers are acceptable to God. The Spirit of God in us prompts us to enjoy the access we have to our Father by speaking to Him all the time about everything.
Knowing this helps us to stand firm. We don’t buy into the lie that we first have to pray an official prayer in the right way before we are acceptable to God. We know that the work of Jesus is what justifies us, not our prayers. We therefore keep running to our Father, praying prayers of confessions quickly, without fuss and drama. We keep running to our Father asking for His help just before we stand up to present something at work. We keep running to our Father to ask Him for wisdom as we try to navigate a difficult conversation.
We pray in the Spirit by wholeheartedly enjoying the access we have to our Father in Heaven.