Summary: A sermon that highlights four things that suppress, subdue, quench, or limit the Spirit of Prayer that dwells in believers.
In Zechariah 12:10, the prophet Zechariah prophesied that a spirit of prayer and supplication would be poured out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. We can deduce from this scripture that there is a Spirit of Prayer. When we look at Romans 8:26-27, we understand that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Prayer Zechariah had earlier prophesied would be poured out on the people of Israel. The Holy Spirit in believers loves to pray. He is the Spirit of Prayer. He is the One that helps us to pray and intercede (Romans 8:26-27). My prayer for every one of us is for the Spirit of Prayer to be poured afresh on us today because in the times we live in, we really need to pray.
If you are a believer with the Holy Spirit on the inside of you, then you have the Spirit of Prayer living in you. You don't have to be a prayer warrior or called to the intercessory ministry before the Spirit of Prayer can manifest through you. God has released the Spirit of Prayer; the Holy Spirit on every one of us because He wants everyone of us to draw near to Him on a daily basis (Joel 2:28-29, Acts 2:39). He wants us to be in constant touch and connection with Him. The reason why God has left Himself with us in the form of the Holy Spirit is for better communication with Him and for a stronger and deeper relationship with Him. Our prayer life is so important to God that is why He has given us the Holy Spirit to help us to pray.
James 5:16 tells us of the great power believers exercise when we pray. That verse says that the prayers of a righteous man avails much. Because you have the righteousness of Christ imputed to you, your prayers shall avail much in Jesus name, your prayers shall carry power in Jesus name, Amen.
Your prayers are so important. They can be heard by God and bring about significant changes. They can change the story of your life, family and nation. Your prayers can rewrite peoples destines. Your prayers can go a long way in making great things happen.
James 5:16 is a call to prayer; it is God calling on believers to arise and pray for our prayers can avail much. Satan knows how far our prayers can go that’s why he doesn’t want us to pray and does everything possible to keep us from the place of prayer.
There are four main things that suppress, subdue, quench or limit the Spirit of Prayer on the inside of us:
1. Ignoring Prayer Burdens – Nehemiah 1:1-4
In this scripture, Nehemiah was told that the walls of Jerusalem had been broken down and his people were in trouble and in disgrace. Nehemiah was moved when he heard what had happened to his people and to Jerusalem. The news touched Nehemiah’s heart. Something began to happen on the inside of him with respect to that situation. Nehemiah sensed a need to pray about that situation. There was a strong urge, a strong burden placed on him to pray about that situation. And so immediately he heard this news, he went into serious prayers and fasting. And his prayers availed much for his people and the nation. The same people who had faced shame and ridicule were restored and the walls of Jerusalem were rebuilt. All this happened because one man had a burden to pray and he responded to that burden at the right time.
A prayer burden is a divine motivation on the inside of you to pray about a particular need, person, issue, or situation. It is simply God trying to get your attention to pray about something or for someone. It is God giving you signals to pray.
Without a prayer burden in your heart, you will remain indifferent to certain things happening in your life or in the lives of others, or in your church or nation. Like it happened in Nehemiah’s time, the walls of your marriage, finances, career, church and nation can be destroyed, people around you may be facing all kinds of trouble and disgrace, but you aren’t really touched by what is happening. Nehemiah didn’t treat the situation of Jerusalem lightly because he had a prayer burden.
When a person doesn’t have a prayer burden, like the Israelites, you can be on the same mountain, on the same level in your life for months, for years and it doesn’t affect you (Deuteronomy 1:6). You aren’t bothered. You don’t see the need to pray your way out of that situation. Or even if you pray, it’s one half-hearted prayer that doesn’t have much impact.
Someone may then say that if a prayer burden is from God, I can’t be faulted for times I didn’t pray about certain things since I didn’t have a burden to pray about those things. The truth of the matter is that there are so many prayer burdens God has put on the inside of us at different times and in different ways. The mere fact that you have the Holy Spirit in you is enough proof that prayer burdens have come upon you at different times and in different ways. But we suppress the burden to pray because many times we aren’t spiritually sensitive.