Bob Yandian, pastor and excellent Bible teacher, taught me a spiritual lesson I've never forgotten.
In one of his powerful teachings, he spoke about bad days and the things that happen through the normal pace of life. He spoke about the full armor of God and how often we head into our work day only half clothed.
My recall of what he said next has been with me for at least 15 years. He looked at the audience and said, "If you want to have better days and better outcomes, you need to pray in the Spirit more often. Some of you go far too long without speaking to the Lord in the Spirit."
Paul wrote in Romans 8:26, "Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words."
When we focus on the presence of the Lord, our prayer lives change. An intimacy with the Father produces an exchange that can suitably be called a love language.
I know my wife's love language, and she knows mine. We know the love languages of our children and grandchildren. When we have those sweet moments of conversation, all else fails to compare. Many of those moments are seared deeply in memory.
The Lord wants the same with us. He wants us to draw close and tell Him about our day ahead. He wants to hear of our worries and frets. He wants us to tell Him everything and "make [our] requests known" (Phil. 4:6b).
The closer we get, the more our native tongue fails to satisfy our need to love Him with our words—to "worship Him in spiritual songs" (see Eph. 5:19).
The Lord reminded me early this morning of the things I miss when I don't start my day by praying in the Spirit. Here are three of them to encourage your prayer life.
When you don't pray in the Spirit, you miss:
—Help for your weakness. Instead of a day filled with regrets about what you can't do, pray for strength in the Spirit.
—Intercession for others. We long to pray for others. The Spirit knows our heart and our desire to pray for those in need. Every morning, different people come to my mind while praying, and I know there is effectual intercession occurring through the Spirit.
—Intimate worship. When we pray in the Spirit, I believe we worship as the angels do. I sense they gather 'round and join our worship offering. Of course, we worship in our understanding, but there is also a time of worship as we pray that simply cannot be described. "The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in me" (see Rom. 8:11) and worships Him.
Paul also wrote this great word in Ephesians 6:18: "Pray in the Spirit always with all kinds of prayer and supplication. To that end be alert with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."
Yesterday, I was truly honored to interview Marilyn Hickey. Listen as she describes her prayer life and commitment to memorizing the Word. She is an amazing woman of God. and I truly believe this interview will bless you.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president—Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.
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