I write this trending post coming off a marvelous evening of corporate prayer last Sunday, as about 50 people from the ICC Prayer Force and others from the church came together to seek the Lord.
In what is called “Worship-based Prayer,” a term used by Daniel Henderson from his book “Fresh Encounters,” prayer is fueled by God and His character, not necessarily our needs. Certainly, it is biblical to present our requests to God (Matt 6:11; Phil 4:6), however, seeking God’s face and His will as we pray takes our prayer lives to a whole new level. As we pray in this way, our level of expectancy increases- we delight in the Lord through resting in Him and allowing God to work in His time and in His way. This is akin to the importance of praying in the Spirit. This was the apostle Paul’s practice as well as His prayer for believers ( Rom 8:26; 1 Cor 14:15; Eph 6:18).
One of the greatest statements on prayer in Scripture, like many other truths, is paradoxical. It speaks of how God uses our weakness as a conduit for His grace, power, and guidance as we rely on Him. Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. 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.” Here, we lean on the Spirit’s help in any situation— even our most desperate. If only more Christians knew how the Holy Spirit could help them in praying the deepest desires of their hearts to the Father, it would revolutionize their prayer lives!
In fact, it is praying in the Spirit that energized our prayers. Having a Spirit-fueled prayer life versus presenting a list of items you want God to act on- is like the difference between being a powerboat or a sailboat. In Henderson’s book, he gives a great example of this by comparing the two. A power boat is a man-made machine, marked by human creativity and effort— and by keeping our hands on the throttle we move at impressive speeds. The sailboat, on the other hand, is fully dependent on the wind to move it. As we set our sails each day, seeking God by His Word and prayer, we expectantly wait for His Spirit to move! Like the wind, the Spirit of God is an unseen force. It is no accident that Jesus Himself compared the Holy Spirit to the wind with this statement: “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8). Also, the apostle Peter is speaking of the source of divine inspiration of the Scriptures said, “ For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along (emphasis mine) by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:21). So, are you a powerboat- simply making requests of God that conform to your life… or a sailboat- depending on the Holy Spirit to guide your prayers?
May the Holy Spirit carry you along in your prayer life, as you ask for the desire to desire Him, knowing He is right now making intercession for you, according to the will of God (Rom 8:27; Heb 7:25).