Praying in the Spirit

Praying in the Spirit

Ephesians 6:18

“With every prayer and request pray at all times in the Spirit and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints.”


                I’m sure that with a title like “Praying in the Spirit” it will make this devotion look like we are fixing to learn about speaking in tongues or something like that, but I don’t believe that is exactly what this passage is teaching. Sorry to let you down. I believe that this passage and others like it, (Jude 20) are talking about something completely different.

                What exactly does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirt? Or in the Spirit? Well, my understanding of praying in the Spirit is simply praying in God’s will, and not our own.  Romans 8:26-27 says “In the same way the Spirit also joins to help in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit  Himself intercedes for us with unspoken groaning’s. And He who searches the hares knows the Spirits mind-set, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” This passage here tells us that when we pray the Holy Spirit actually prays for us. But why? Well, it’s actually quite simple. We don’t know what to pray for. 

                If you sit down and think about what you actually pray about during your daily prayer time and make a list of what you say I am betting that there is actually not that much of it where it is aimed at praising and worshipping God. I will take my own prayer life for example, and when I pray I start by praising God, but this only last a brief part of the prayer, then I ask for forgiveness of a short list of sins that comes to mind, because let’s be honest, I have no idea how many times I have sinned against God and if I named them all it would take a lot longer than the time I actually ask God to forgive me. Then the rest of the prayer is spent asking God for specific things. And these things aren’t necessarily bad things to be asking for, but at the end of the prayer it turns out looking like a Christmas list that ends with “in the name of Jesus”.

                I say all of this to emphasize the point that was mentioned above. We don’t know what to pray for. Why? Because we don’t know what the will of God is most of the time and that is why it takes praying in the Holy Spirit for us to truly pray to God the way that we need to. He knows what the will of God is and that is why it is important that he “intercedes” or in other words, “talks for us” or “translates” what we really say into something that is lining up with the will of God.

                This is a good things because sometime we ask for things in a very sincere way, but they are really not what is best for us. We may be asking for a raise at work or for some sort of blessing in our lives when God knows that all that will do is draw us further away from him. We are usually like kids at the grocery store who want to get everything we see and God has to be the mom who tells us “no, that’s not good for you and you don’t need that”. Because, like the kid at the store who wants to buy all the junk food and candy and go home and eat it, we pray and ask for junk that is not good for us and is going to hurt us.

                So praying in the Spirit is not praying in tongues or a special language, instead it is simply praying in the will of God. It is having our prayers line up with God’s will and what he knows is best for us and for this world. We have to realize that we only see the small portion of the picture but God sees the whole thing and knows what is best. His ways are not our ways, they are higher than ours thankfully. We simply need to trust God and when we come to our time of prayer we should pray that His will would be done and not ours, and that he would mold our hearts into seeing what his will is for us and for the people around us.


Tyler Mooring