Summary: This sermon stresses how the Holy Spirit is our intercessory partner. It also gives some practical tips on how to pray
Preached at SBC Philippi on 7/18/04 a.m. service
Rev. Jeff Simms, Pastor www.sbcop.org
Our Intercessory Partner
Primary Purpose: To look at how the Holy Spirit helps intercede for us when we don’t know how to pray
Have you ever had a time when you didn’t know how to pray? Maybe someone close to you or maybe you yourself don’t know exactly what you should say. There is a mixture of hurt and confusion and a lot of other feelings going on. Many of us have been there. Others of us have had to make decisions and didn’t know the will of God on the matter. Scripture tells us we have some great prayer partners to help us in interceding before God the Father. (Read Scripture)
If you take a close look at church history, you will see that most of the great movements in the church have started as a result of prayer. We talk about how we believe in prayer, but do we always practice it? In a recent survey it was discovered that most church members spend less than 7 minutes a day in prayer. If this is our power source then why we we neglect such a great source of strength?
E.M.Bounds onced said, “God’s greatest movements in this world have been conditioned and fashioned by prayer. God has put Himself in these great movements just as men have prayer. Persistent, prevailing conspicuous and mastering prayer has always brought God to present. How vast are the possibilities of prayer! How wide its reach. It lays its hand on Almighty God and moves Him to do what He would not do if prayer was not offered. Prayer is a wonderful power placed by Almighty God in the hands of His saints, which may be used to accomplish great purposes and to achieve unusual results. The only limits to prayer are the promises of God and His ability to fulfill those promises.”
So, it is important that we look at prayer and most importantly that we are a praying people. It is important that prayer covers all our ministries, all our marriages, all our careers and all our homes. It is important that prayer covers our elections, our President, our Congress and local leaders. It is important that we as a church seek God out with diligence. We have according to this passage, a great prayer partner with us- the Holy Spirit of God. I want to talk to you about who He is, what He does and what our role to play in His work is.
1. Who is the Holy Spirit? This the third person of the Trinity. He is often called counselor, helper or Advocate. The word comforter is also the word advocate in the greek it is the word parakletos- it means “called to one’s side, used in a court of justice it means a legal assistant, counsel for the defense, one who pleads another’s cause. This is the word that Jesus used in John 14:16 when he said of the Father that He would send another comforter.
Years ago I worked as a transcriptionist for a court reporter. I took tape that he had read the court stenographic notes on to and wrote them out for him. You have to have it written and indented in a special way for the court to receive it. You have to have the right size and colored paper, everything must be in order. You probably would have a tough time knowing all the standards in order to file motions and briefs and papers before the judge in most courts unless your an attorney. So, when civil or criminal cases come up, most people get a legal counsel to advise them and defend them. This person knows the law. He knows how to address the court. He is your legal representative. In some small way, the Holy Spirit is like this before God the Father. He is your legal representation. He is your guarantee of your inheritance. He is your guide, the Spirit of truth. He speaks for you when you don’t know what to say.
Jesus is also our intercessor at the right hand of God the Father right now. Hebrews 7:25. He sat down because His redemptive work was done, but His intercessory work continues today. He is our high priest, the one who makes atonement for us and the one who intercedes on our behalf.
2. What then does He do? The Holy Spirit has a variety of ministries- the word says he brings all the teachings of Jesus to our remembrance. John 14:26. He convicts the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. John 16:8. Here Romans 8:26-27 says that he helps us with intercessions too deep for words. The word help there is a word SUNANTILAMBANO- it means to take share in, help in bearing. He bears our weaknesses, (the KJV says “infirmities”) before the Father. He literally stands in the gap for you before the Father just as the Son does.