*** This article is part of a blog series by a Guest Author: Nic Thackwray. It is a journey into understanding better God’s Zeal for His House. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***
Prayer should be like paddling into a mighty wave and then effortlessly riding its force into the intimacy and victory of true prayer. The Holy Spirit is that wave!
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father! The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God …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. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
If you could break our relationship with God as His children down into two aspects, it might be, first, God’s reaching out to us (in many varied ways) and second, our reaching back to the Father (in many varied ways). If we look at the scripture above, the Spirit seems to be helping us in both of these aspects. In other words He carries us in all aspects of our communion with God – us knowing and believing God’s constant message to us that we are His sons and daughters (The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God) and also our crying out to God (…but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, Abba! Father!… For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us).
The Holy Spirit living in us brings the Father’s deepest communication with us right into the very centre of our knowing and then takes the very depths of our inexpressible longings for more of the Father and His kingdom in our lives and the lives of those around us and expresses them perfectly before the Father. What a wonderful Counselor we have, that knows us so deeply and draws us in so fully!
A surfer has to exert a fair amount of energy to paddle into a wave but once they stand up, they are carried. They gain instant speed and can cover amazing amounts of distance in a short time. Some waves can carry surfers hundreds of metres in seconds. Paddling those distances is boring and tiring. That’s exactly what it feels like when I pray without the Spirit…boring and tiring. But to be carried by the Spirit in prayer, we may need to “paddle in” by setting aside time, meditating on God, praising Him, making a prayer list etc. This can take discipline and hard work, but as the Spirit picks us up we will find deep worship rise in our hearts, deep compassion for those around us in need, faith to see the kingdom come, authority to bring down strongholds, joy, deep love for our neighbour, intimacy with God and His presence filling our physical bodies.
Holy Spirit, help me to trust You to carry me in prayer. Help me to seek You in times of prayer and not do it without You. Help me to know what my part to play is and to do this with all my strength..