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Seeds of the Kingdom

Connecting with God in Prayer

by Grace Bull

24 September 2010

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“God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4: 24 , NASB

Do you find prayer meetings exciting or boring? I have been to many examples of both types and it is not just to do with the volume of noise! There’s more to it than that. Today’s verse gives us a clue – if you want to connect with God, whether in prayer or in worship – you have to do it through your spirit.

That means to pray with your guts, your heart, the deepest part within you. You may not have the words, but the Holy Spirit is there to help. Romans 8:26 tells us: “in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” We can ask God for help, through his Holy Spirit. If the Holy Spirit can pray without words, with groans from his heart, then maybe occasionally we could pray like that too. Sometimes we just have to express our deepest feelings to God and we don’t always have the awareness of what those feelings are to be able to put them into words. God cares about how we are feeling.

If the Holy Spirit has given you the gift of tongues, that is a good way to begin to pray with your spirit. If you have not received that gift, you can ask the Father for it if you would like it (Luke 11:13).

Of course the Lord also wants us to pray with our mind. It’s not one or the other, but both. The apostle Paul said: "I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you" (1 Cor 14:18). A few verses earlier, in 1 Cor 14:15, Paul also gives us the balance: "So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit but I will also sing with my mind." A healthy balance should include both. How about you and me? What is the balance we have between praying with our spirit and praying with our mind? Is it all one or all the other?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and ask you to give me your Holy Spirit to help me pray and worship you in spirit and truth. I want to connect with you in my spirit. Thank you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Grace Bull is a member of the Ellel Ministries team, working in course development and the support of Ellel centres worldwide, having previously been a full-time GP (family doctor) for 15 years. Her passion is relationship with God and doing anything that will help other people to find that close relationship too.

 

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