Summary: A sermon about our weakness when it comes to prayer, the Holy Spirit’s power, and how He helps us.
The Holy Spirit, Our Prayer Partner Rom. 8:26, 27
INTRO.: Every Christian knows the importance of prayer. We are grateful to have access to the throne room of Heaven where we can take our needs before the Father. Yet, few of us have a satisfying prayer life. The reason is we are weak in the flesh. We need help. The Father has provided a helper for us. That Helper is His Holy Spirit. Let’s consider our own weakness and the help available to us.
I. Our weakness: the flesh.
A. In what does the weakness consist?
1. Pride that causes us not to pray.
2. Praying amiss to cater to our own selfish desires.
3. Laziness and distractions preventing us from setting aside time to pry.
4. Our inability to know God’s will.
B. The Apostle Paul provides a good example of not knowing God’s will:
1. Acts 16:6-9
2. II Cor. 12:7-9
3. God is infinite in His wisdom and knowledge. How could we hope to know as much as He knows?
C. The idea this weakness only shows "once in a while." is false.
1. We very seldom, if ever, know what to ask God for. We only know what we want.
2. Paul had no idea what he was asking for in Romans 1:9-12. His prayer was answered with arrest, imprisonment, beatings, a shipwreck, etc. but he did get to Rome.
3. If we let God know what we want then be ready to accept whatever answer He gives, we pray in faith.
II. The Holy Spirit:
A. He lives within the Christian. This is a major theme of Romans 8:
1. V. 2 "through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death".
2. who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 4
3. the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace. 6
4. You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, 9
5. he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 11
6. because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 14
7. You received the Spirit of sonship. 15
8. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 16
9. We have the first fruits of the Spirit, 23
B. The Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Godhead. He is God, along with the Father and the Son, Jesus.
1. He dwells within us. I Cor. 6:19
2. He is not an impersonal force or an attitude. He is a non-physical person.
3. I don’t know how He can live in my body. I don’t understand how my own spirit can live in my body. I accept it by faith.
C. ILLUS.: The story of the rebuilding of the temple upon Israel’s return from captivity told in the book of Zechariah.
1. The date was 520 BC. The temple foundation had been laid then the work was neglected for 16 years. The people built their own homes and secured their borders, neglecting the worship of God.
2. To call the people back to the task was a daunting work for Joshua, the High Priest, and Zerubbabel, the governor.
3. They were to gather together the people of Israel, inspire them to build, and provide leadership.
4. God encouraged them with the promise of the Spirit\’s power. "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty." Zech. 4:6
5. The job got done quickly and completely once they surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
III. We’ve discussed our weakness in the flesh and the Person and power of the Holy Spirit. Now let’s put the two together and see how the Holy Spirit helps us overcome our weakness.
A. He helps us see the extent of the love of God. Eph. 3:16-19
1. With our unaided human understanding, we may miss this. As we can’t see far planets without the aid of a telescope, we can’t comprehend God’s love unaided.
2. God gives us power through the Spirit to realize how much He loves us and the entire world of people.
3. There is a contradiction in verse 19. "know this love that surpasses knowledge" It is resolved by the Presence of the Spirit.
4. The Spirit does His work in our "inner being," which means we may not see, hear, or feel Him working, yet He does work.
B. He makes us fit to come into God’s Presence. I Cor. 6:11
1. When I grew up in western Pennsylvania, I lived over the deep shaft coal mines. Hundreds of feet under the ground, workers were digging, blasting, and transporting millions of tons of coal to the surface. We never heard them work. They were deep within the earth. Like the Holy Spirit works unseen & unheard deep within our hearts.