Part One- God the Father in our prayer life
Part Two—Jesus the Son in our prayer life
The forgotten member of the trinity is the Holy Spirit. Why that is has a lot to do with prior church history, where sometimes church leaders, particularly evangelistic leaders, were accused of emphasizing the Holy Spirit or emotion too strongly. But He is a legitimate member of the Triune God, and the part he plays in the prayer of the saint is an important one. Let’s look at it.
I suppose there is no more well known verse than this:Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. (Ro. 8:26) In a short verse here Paul reminds us that we have the help of God the Spirit Himself in our prayers. Have you ever gone to God without words? I have been. Sometimes I am so swamped by the enormity of the prayer that I know not where to begin. Sometimes the Spirit Himself seems to be giving me the articulation to pray as I know not and I find myself saying something I would never have thought of on my own. Sometimes the prayer is so deep, that I find myself still, letting the Spirit of God intercede and explain to the Father of my deepest need. What a joy!
Why is the Holy Spirit so underemphasized today? It is He that so enriches and makes our walk before God to be possible. Otherwise I could not manage to walk with God at all. Let’s take a look at some of the basic things the Spirit does for us. First of all, I want to look at where Jesus first reveals the gift of the Holy Spirit. It occurs in John 14:16—“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever.” That is a long time and a bit longer too, if you take my meaning. Forever. God so loves us that not only did He send his Son to die for us, but also He took of his own nature and imparted it into us forever. After the rapture will we still have the Spirit? Is that part of forever? The gift of God is not something he takes back; it is ours forever.
What does the Spirit do?
1. John 14:26 He teaches us all things.
2. John 15:26 He testifies about Jesus.
3. John 16:8 He convicts the world of guilt expressly in three ways:
a. in sin because people do not believe in Jesus4. John 16:12 He guides us into all truth.
b. in righteousness because of the resurrection
c. in judgment because Satan is now condemned
5. John 16:14 He brings glory to Jesus by taking what belongs to Him and making it known to us.
6. Acts 2:2 He indwells us forever (John 14:6).
7. Acts 2:4 He gives us gifts
a. Acts 2:4 Speaking in Tongues8. Galatians 5:22 He produces fruits in us
b. Acts 2:17 Prophesy
c. Acts 2:17 Visions and Dreams
d. Acts 3:6 Miracles
e. I Cor. 12:8 Message of wisdom
f. I Cor. 12:8 Message of knowledge
g. I Cor. 12:10 Interpretation of tongues
I have not the space here to put all the things that the Spirit does for us. But this is the basic list taken from Scripture and should be a good reminder of what the Holy Spirit does for us. Let me close with a short story from my vivid mental wanderings. I do wonder what heaven will be like in spite of the Bible telling us that eye hath not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for us. I got to trying to figure out one day, in round numbers, guessing how many saints are going up in the rapture. I cannot tell you a firm number, but I expect millions of us will be going up, and perhaps many more. In all that crowd I found myself wondering about whether I might be as lost as I am sometimes in crowds down here. I thought, well, I have eternity, and sooner or later, I might have a real encounter with Jesus himself. Probably much later. But I wondered then, with my one opportunity, what would I do? Would I fall at his feet? Would he hug me and love me? What would happen with “my one time” with the Lord. With such musings I was content, knowing that God would somehow work it out. Work it out he did, for I was reading Tozer (God’s Pursuit of Man) one day and found an answer:
. . . and for all who share the common salvation. . . and the poorest and weakest of us may without offense claim for ourselves all the riches of the Godhead in mercy given. I have every right to claim all for myself, knowing that an infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others.(italics mine)God foresaw that problem I spent time musing over, and had it worked out from eternity past. He has given us Himself, that we might be filled to overflowing!
If that is our gift forever, if we have the Spirit of God inside us, how should we then pray? Our prayers, helped by the Spirit go straight to God. Remember that the next time you pray and are waiting for an answer. Have Great Expectations because you have the very Spirit of God living within you.