Summary: A sermon on the importance of praying in the Spirit of God.
Praying in the Spirit
• One of the greatest ways to understand God’s Word and to understand the deep things of Scripture is to study Systematic Theology.
• Systematic Theology looks at the Bible topically instead of looking at individual books. We derive Systematic Theology from the way Paul wrote Romans.
•Chapters 1 and 2: God’s Wrath Revealed
Chapters 3-5: Doctrine of Justification
Chapters 6-8: Doctrine of Sanctification
• In Romans 8, Paul talks to Believers about the importance of the Holy Spirit in the Christian Life. It’s important to be living after the Spirit, led by the Spirit, and listening to the Spirit.
• One of the greatest areas that the Spirit works in is Believers Prayer Life. E.M. Bounds stated, “The little estimate we put on prayer is evidence from the little time we give to it.”
• God saw our inefficiencies in prayer, and He gave us a helper in the Holy Spirit.
I. The Spirit Teaches Us What to Pray (v. 26a)
The first thing we need to know about the work of the Holy Spirit in our prayer life is that He teaches us how to pray appropriately.
Notice what Paul says in verse 26 that the Spirit “helpeth our infirmities”, or our weaknesses. That word “help” indicates to us that the Spirit is joining with us to lend a helping hand.
This word is also used in Luke 10:40 when Martha asked Jesus to tell Mary to get in the kitchen and help her with the dishes.
Martha said “Lord, I need help! I cannot serve alone.” Likewise, we need a helper in our prayer life. God has provided us with the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit helps us in our areas of weakness. That word “weakness” (Gr. astheneia) does not pertain to sin or even suffering, but it indicates weakness in strength.
In fact, that weakness is our lack of understanding regarding our prayer life. We know God is listening to us, but the problem comes in what exactly we should pray for.
Have you ever thought about what it would be like if you sat down and prayed for everything?
One preacher put it this way, “Prayer that is elective is most effective.” We have to be specific in what we pray for.
How do we pray? Often times, our problem in prayer is that we don’t know the right things to ask for. What does the stem from?
1 Corinthians 13:9 says “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”
Because of our spiritual dimness, the Holy Spirit helps us in that weakness and teaches us how we ought to pray. Thus, we learn how to “walk by faith, and not by sight.”
How do we learn how to pray in the Spirit? Look back in the book of Romans to 8:5, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”
When we live after the Spirit, there is a natural desire for us to pray. There is a need to have communication with God.
Not only is there a desire to pray, but to pray in the Spirit. Praying in the flesh will never accomplish anything. Our prayers will be void and remain unanswered until we get in unity with the Spirit of God.
When we learn to pray in the Spirit, there is no limit to what God can do. Look at Acts 4:31 “ And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul.”
Think about what God could do with a bunch of people praying in unity and in the Spirit. We must allow the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us in our prayer life.
II. The Spirit Translates For Us When We Pray (v.26b)
Not only does the Spirit teach us what to pray for, but He also translates our prayers as they are sent.
Paul teaches us that the Spirit makes intercession for the Saints unto God. That word “intercession” carries with it the idea of pleading on behalf of someone.
Not only do we often have a problem with what we should pray, but then we also struggle with how to pray for what we want.
So, the Spirit makes intercession for us. That means that He “asks God on our behalf.”