If your life is anything like mine, it is pressure-packed. It is full of stress, illness, pain, disappointment...all sorts of things that can weigh you down.
And when life is filled with these kinds of tensions, prayer can often seem like a real chore...something you know you should be doing, but never get around to!
The fact is, finding the time to pray is hard work. There is something within us...a weakness...that makes it difficult. At times it is difficult to know what to pray. At other times, you just don't know what to say. And then there are times when you just don't feel like praying at all!
This human weakness...the flesh...is our main enemy when it comes to prayer. But praise God...He knows we are weak and that we need His power to pray.
That is why God has graciously provided you and me Someone to help us pray. That person is none other than the Spirit of God Himself.
Through the Holy Spirit, God promises that whatever your circumstance may be...whether you're in physical suffering, in mental anguish, or in spiritual struggles...He will be your partner in prayer. He will empower you to pray. In fact, the Bible tells us that He even groans in prayer on your behalf (Romans 8:26)!
There are five key areas where God's Spirit helps you pray in real power. These are:
1. Lack of concern. By nature, you and I tend to be lazy and lethargic when it comes to prayer. The flesh does not want to pray, but the Spirit does. So in our moment of weakness He comes along beside us and helps us want to pray.
2. Lack of communion. Many people don't pray because they feel like there is a distance between them and God. But Galatians 4:6 says, "...God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, Abba, Father." The Holy Spirit helps us sense God's presence-the closeness of our communion with Him-when we pray.
3. Lack of content. As humans, not only do we not naturally know what to pray for, we don't even know how to pray! So what does the Holy Spirit do? He teaches us what to say. How does the Holy Spirit do this? By teaching us to listen. When we listen to God in prayer...when we stay long enough at the place in prayer...God is able to clarify His will and teach us what to say when we pray.
4. Lack of capability. We lack the strength, we lack the energy, and we lack the steadfastness to pray. But the Spirit of God comes along and energizes our prayer lives. When we worship God in the Spirit, we are invigorated!
5. Lack of concentration. Is it strange to you how anything and everything will distract you when you finally try to pray? I'm convinced the devil will do anything he can to keep us from talking to God. So the Spirit of God does warfare against the enemy to help us concentrate when we pray.
As you learn to pray with the power of the Holy Spirit, I want you to remember God is at His strongest when we are at our weakest. Consider what the apostle Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:8-10:
And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Thanks be to God, when we are weak, He is strong! And He is trying to get every one of us to the point where we depend on His strength at all times...especially in the midst of our weaknesses.
That's why you should never be surprised when God just puts you flat on your back! He wants you to look up to Him! God will sometimes allow pain in our lives so that we might pray in dependence upon Him.
My friend, you must learn to depend upon the Holy Spirit in prayer just as you depend on Him for witnessing...for preaching...for speaking...for service...and for soul-winning. He is the One who is called along side to help you, the One who invests Himself within you to enable you to live for God.
And He is the only One who can help you pray with power!
Dr. Jack Graham is pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church. He is committed to helping Christians experience the Kingdom of God and it’s power in every area of their lives. He is also a noted author of numerous books, including A Hope and a Future, Diamonds in the Dark, Lessons from the Heart, and Life According to Jesus, which can be found at www.jackgraham.org. PowerPoint Ministries is the radio and television broadcast ministry of Dr. Graham.