It is too wide to take unreservedly. In these three words, "ask," "seek" and "knock," given us by Christ, we have the repetition of the advancing steps of insistency and effort. John could not utter a word, though he had pillowed his head on Christ's bosom and caught the pulsations of Christ's heart, and though his brain was full of the wondrous facts of that life and of the wondrous words which fell from His lips. That is the value of the works that he did. John must wait till a fuller and richer endowment than all of these came on him. Holy Spirit, we ask thee to search our own hearts on this day, and save us from this damnable perfidy of talking truth and not living it, of echoing orthodoxy but refusing to submit in practical ways, or shepherding our resources and protecting our lives and refusing to fling them into thy cause and abandon ourselves to thy purposes. Present at the meeting, I knew, would be scores of men who were not in any way outwardly identified with Christian faith and many of them would be typically shallow, rootless, unconcerned modern pagans. To express thanks for the guidance and spiritual nourishment the Holy Spirit provides. You are not laying hold of his indwelling life, and for all practical purposes he is not there, he is only with you. Not even the precious blood can execute the gospel. Scripture talks about the Holy Spirit being poured out and the believer being filled up. It is the same action, and exactly the same man. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. One of the most interesting verses where the Holy Spirit, prayer and boldness come together is found in Acts 4:23-31. The gift of the Holy Spirit was vital to the work of Jesus Christ in the atonement. There are so many different ways the Holy Spirit helps us to pray. Lord God, what hypocrites! ". Intellect cannot execute it, neither can learning, nor eloquence, nor truth, not even the revealed truth can execute the gospel. Whatever, anything, I will do it. D. We can expect to receive a more intimate relationship to the Holy Spirit because it is a “good” desire in most instances. This is what we desperately need down in this area.". To pray by the Holy Spirit we must have Him always. As Jesus did not begin His work on earth till He was anointed by the Holy Spirit, so the same Holy Spirit is necessary to carry forward and make effective the atoning work of the Son of God. "In you" means that you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, and yielding obedience to his totalitarian sovereignty. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God. Notice what he links with this: "because I go to the Father." God's children need Him more and more, need His life, His more abundant life, His super-abundant life. In particular, Lloyd-Jones, as a man of prayer, taught me how to pray in the Holy Spirit. The prophet Joel writes, Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. How simple and direct is our Lord's direction -- ASK! See who the Holy Spirit is. He who is appropriating by faith that which I am will do these things. And we do not wonder at the crowds that followed him, hounding him, following him even into retreat, insisting upon his ministry, so that the news spread like wildfire throughout the land of Israel that here was a prophet risen in Israel again. I commented how disturbing it is to sit down with a group of people and mention some great promise of Scripture or Christian life that ought to be ours and to have everybody nod their head in agreement with it, and then to see the look of shock come into their eyes when you propose some action on it. '” (Pope Benedict XVI, June 4, 2006) That seemed to me to capture exactly what Jesus is saying here. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. For the higher and graduating lessons in prayer we must have the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit Will Help You With Your Prayer Life. I remember Mr. Hendricks pausing and saying to us, with great significance, "Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayer?". "He who believes in me." This is the law, a condition brightened by a promise and sweetened by a relationship. And one of the mayors who had, before the meeting, insisted, with some asperity, that he would have absolutely no participation in the meeting, volunteered at the end to get up and say that this was something that he felt had sounded out the crying need of that area and he hoped that this would be an annual event. Now what I said was neither clever or profound, it was very simple. Now that does not mean "He who is a Christian." At the age of twenty-one he had never seen a Bible and it was years later, as a married man, that he finally was given a Bible. It was a challenging meeting, an opportunity to speak in the name of God to men who would otherwise never give an ear, and I felt it. Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of Truth -- there is nothing more magnificently Christian than this ability to see truth clearly. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit …” Ephesians 4:30. Remember, I warned you of that. Praying in the Spirit is prayer with divine help. In the third verse above on the Holy Spirit, the first two sentences are giving us another powerful piece of revelation on this whole topic. Our Lord is promising here that the One who will come to make his home in every Christian's heart and life is nothing less than God himself! But when you come to the end, where are the crowds? While he was here on earth the fullness of God was available to man only in one human body, the body of Jesus. At this time, these words will become the words of the Spirit. So, before the meeting began, I simply asked. He is not saying everyone who is a Christian, and, in that sense, a believer, will automatically be able to do these things. It is important to say a prayer to the Holy Spirit daily. Again, we must never forget our dependence on the guidance of the Holy Spirit (Gal. In Verses 12 through 17, three revelations are given of the life of Jesus Christ at work within us: In Verse 12 we learn that the character of a Christian's work is "borrowed activity"; in Verses 13-14 we shall find that the basis of a Christian's prayer is "borrowed authority"; and in Verses 15-17 it is revealed that the secret of a Christian's living is "borrowed deity.". The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children, – Romans 8:16. Here we have the initial lesson in prayer for the Holy Spirit which was to enlarge to its full fruitage in Pentecost. . He is laying Himself out in command and promise in the strongest way, showing us that if we will lay ourselves out in prayer and will persevere, rising to higher and stronger attitudes and sinking to deeper depths of intensity and effort, that the answer must inevitibly come. Hence, the crucial importance of the Spirit in Christian life: indeed, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the gravest of all sins (Luke 12:10). A significant amount of the teaching on the School of Intimacy and Prayer is devoted to developing your relationship with the Holy Spirit. [Thought questions for Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer May 12, 2015]. Ask for the Holy Spirit -- seek for the Holy Spirit -- knock for the Holy Spirit. There is no passage that does it more effectively than the passage before us. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. My hunger for learning how to pray in the Spirit came from a perplexing problem. We refuse to accept it at face value. The Spirit plays a significant role in the book of Revelation. We do not need later to pray for his coming. For in it Jesus plainly says, "He who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do.". He dwelt with them before but he was to be in them on the Day of Pentecost. He brings to us the Spirit of the Father. Historically, it was true that these disciples were not to receive the indwelling of the Spirit until the Day of Pentecost. There is no elect company here, only the election of undismayed, importunate, never-fainting effort in prayer: "For to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." What is the explanation of that? By the strength and indwelling life of the Father he did all the works that we marvel at as we read the story of his life. How complex, confusing and involved is many a human direction about obtaining the gift of the Holy Spirit as the abiding Comforter, our Sanctifier and the one who empowers us! Here are eight ways: 1. The Enliven School of Intimacy and Prayer is an online video course that can be completed at your own pace, and you can find out more here . Let me illustrate: All of us are familiar with the phrase, "In the name of the law." What you do in the power of the Spirit will not fade away. And of many others it might be said, "Ye have Him in faint measure because ye pray for Him in faint measure.". But what he is saying now is, that as the Risen Christ, ascended to the throne or the Father, he himself will do through us, in terms of our personalities, and by the activity of our lives, greater works today than he did in the days of his flesh. God gives power and ability only to faith, and it is only when we learn that that these promises come alive in our life. The projecting power of praying is the measure of the Holy Spirit in us. Even Christ was subject to this law of prayer. Nothing can be stronger than this declaration assuring us of the answer unless it be the promise upon which it is based, "And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you. The gospel cannot be executed but by the Holy Ghost. He puts and makes us members of the body of Christ by His work. We do this because: it is traditionally acceptable, and we do not understand what "in his name" means. One can desire a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit for the wrong reasons. Anything! As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. The mightiest operation of God in us brings the mightiest praying. Someone who stands with you and makes you strong; that is a Comforter, one who gives strength. I strengthen my relationship with the Holy Spirit by consciously choosing to include Him in every conversation, every interaction, as often as possible. Perhaps in this place, more fully than anywhere else, our Lord unfolds to us the unique secret of Christianity, that aspect of life that has been called "the exchanged life." 1. As he read, he discovered that this was the book because it revealed the One who understood him. There is a condition here. He enables us to discharge the functions as members of that body by His gifts. He welcomed our team to come down the next week and hold Breakfast Meetings throughout that entire area. (A traditional Catholic prayer) Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. . It is not our relationship with Jesus Christ which counts before the world, it is our resemblance to him. Is that what he is saying? His gifts are the dispensations of His presence. These great promises have a condition linked with them that qualifies them, and without the fulfillment of the condition the promise will never work. I don't rebel against him." We sense immediately that this is too wide. All rights reserved. Invest your life into the salvation of souls. That is what he is saying. And they were all filled with the Holy … The Holy Spirit was in the world in measure before Pentecost, and in the measure of His operation then He was prayed for and sought for, and the principles are unchanged. Would we pray efficiently and mightily? What if a Christian athlete is praying for clear weather and a Christian farmer is praying for rain? Scripture about Praying in the Spirit “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Now, supposing a policeman goes into a cheap slum area of the city at three o'clock in the afternoon. What is it? Here is where we need to listen very carefully to exactly what it is he is saying. One was truly done in the name of the law, the other was done outside the law, even though the same words were used. This is plain and direct. I like the old translation better, the word is "Comforter," but we should understand it in its original meaning. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. RayStedman.org/permissions. St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit. It will be given. I felt inadequate, I felt the tremendous challenge and my own inability. The whole lesson culminates in asking for the Holy Spirit as the great objective point of all praying. That was the beginning. Perhaps our greatest problem is to be so awestricken by these promises that we fail to heed the condition. In this word, Jesus is saying that he who comes will be the One who has within him the fullness of power, all the strength that we could possibly need, that is the first thing. He only can unfold to us the mysteries of the prayer-life, its duty and its service. Would we be perfect in all graces? That is our program for this study, So let us take it in detail. "Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." In Luke we have "good things" substituted by "the Holy Spirit." (John 14:12 RSV). His testimony was to a life-long experience of delving deeper and deeper into the marvels of a Book that understood him, because it was revealed by the Spirit of God who is the One who understands us. He can become sad or angry, and others can insult Him and blaspheme against Him (Is 63:10; Mt 12:31; Ac 7:51; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29). Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will come upon us and we will receive power, tongues were not mentioned in Acts 1:8. He does not, like earthly teachers, teach us the lesson and then withdraw. It was a great temptation to be there. "Oh," you say, "I'm not in rebellion against the Spirit of God. So the policeman breaks down the door, and when he does, he is arrested and taken to jail himself. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. Our prayers and activities are so feeble and resultless, because He has not worked in us and cannot work in us His glorious work. So the statement of James in the fifth chapter of his Epistle is to this effect: "The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much." We sense also, almost instinctively, that it is too contradictory if taken without limit. This is the reason why, though we know these promises must be true because of him who spoke them, yet we see so dismally little evidence of it in our living. He uses here a verb in the present tense which means "he who is continually believing in me." We wonder if there is not a catch somewhere. Norman Nelson was there and sang beautifully. God’s Promise to You. Ask, seek, knock, till He comes. I simply tried to call attention to the moral revolt that is widespread in the United States today and the fact that it is eating away at our national life and destroying the very foundation of our government, things that you read and are hearing today on every side. I have learned, by long experience and by the Word of God, to recognize that that feeling of inadequacy is an excellent thing. And so he closes his appeal for them with the words, that God was able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. "If ye, then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" A Christian's true work is borrowed activity, it is never his own, and when he begins to think it is, he defeats every possibility of success. All good is comprehended in the Holy Spirit and He is the sum and climax of all good things. Immediately after the meeting two Chiefs of Police who were present from the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa came right up to me, visibly moved, and shook my hand and said, "We know what you are talking about. But that life begins and ever increases as the child of God prays for the Holy Spirit. Which one wins? In my experience I have discovered it is possible to have God at arm's length, dwelling with me. But for some, the fact that the Spirit is not described as being on the throne with the Father and the Son means that He is … We need Him, and we need to stir ourselves up to seek Him. Why did Jesus, the Creator of the World, and our Savior, need to rely on the Holy Spirit in His ministry on earth?Or did He? Now, we will say, at ten o'clock that night, that same policeman is drunk. Or, more accurately, another is living his life in him. . The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than a church doctrine, it is a promise from God to His people. Keep us from this, that we may know the fulness of the glory of these promises fulfilled in our lives in this day and age. He has given the Holy Spirit to you to draw you closer to Him for a more intimate relationship. That frightens and staggers us. Why, I'm a Christian. And You shall renew the face of the earth. The names that he uses here suggest the richness of this promise. Jesus said, "... even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him." Our human spirit is the element through which the Spirit of God dwells in us after being regenerated by Him (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 2:20). He is out in a residential area and for some reason on his own, in his drunken stupor, he stumbles up the steps of a house, and knocks on the door, and says, "Open inna name of the law." There is a condition to this, however. He is called there because of some murderous activity that is going on, and he comes up to the address that has been given him, and knocks at the door, and says, "Open in the name of the law." It means the total collapse of all your rebellion against him. Whatever he is interested in having done on earth, then we, as the instruments of his activity, are involved in accomplishing it. It is significant to note that, though Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, he did teach them how to pray. (John 14:13-14 RSV). Would we grow in grace in particular? It is his work in us. Long before, they had already begun to diminish. In the Christian life, faith is always the operative word. The Apostolic Church in action illustrates the same great truth. If it lies in the direction of the moving of Christ in the affairs of men today, whatever you need, ask. The truth is, if we cannot pray for the Holy Spirit we cannot pray for any good thing from God, for He is the sum of all good to us. In the direction in the Sermon on the Mount, we have the very plain and definite promise, "If ye, being evil,[]know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?" "Whatever you need, ask, and it shall be given you," that's all. The Bible by express statement, as well as by its general principles and clear and constant intimations, teaches us that the gift of the Holy Spirit is connected with and conditioned in prayer. There is so little reflection of the truth our ears are hearing. Because of His love for the whole world and His desire that none will perish, God draws us into a personal relationship with Himself through The Holy Spirit. But there is a very significant promise uttered in the midst of thisUpper Room Discourse that he addresses to these disciples. He is the Father's greatest gift for the child's greatest need. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. The promise is so staggering that we attempt immediately to soften it. Do you see the difference? I have found it in my own life. That is the condition. Much of his teaching on prayer is found in this rich and fragrant passage, which is called The Upper Room Discourse, found in John, Chapters 13 through 17. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, he takes away the veils, he dissolves the mists. It is the child waiting, asking, urging and praying perseveringly for the Father's greatest gift and for the child's greatest need, the Holy Spirit. Amen. "In Christ's name" means in his authority, on the basis of his character, in the value of his work. Rain on Us Prayer Holy Spirit, our Comforter, and our Friend, as … Already many of the searching things that he had been saying had separated the weak from the strong, and many had gone back and refused to follow with him anymore. Praying in the Spirit is a gift to be received through faith in Christ Jesus. Our ability to work for God, and to pray to God, and live for God, and affect others for God, will be dependent on the measure of the Holy Spirit received by us, dwelling in us, and working through us. 5:25). 1:4; 22:17). It is a vast area of mystery and beauty and glory. A Prayer to the Holy Spirit “This is the mystery of Pentecost: The Holy Spirit illuminates the human spirit and, by revealing Christ Crucified and Risen, indicates the way to become more like him, that is, to be ‘the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ. It came to his ears that this woman had told some of her friends that she was praying that he might be her son-in-law. The Holy Spirit helps to guide us and leads us towards living a more Christ-filled life. Whatever! His ministry among men, as a man, was a failure. Those miracles he did, astonishing things, raising men from the dead, healing the sick, opening the eyes or the blind, delivering men, women and little children from the oppression or demons, touching with his hand the withered arm of a man and immediately it springs into full growth and life again. There is another passage, Verses 13 and 14, which sets forth the fact that the basis of a Christian's prayer is borrowed authority. Christ lays down the doctrine that the reception of the Holy Spirit is conditioned on prayer, and He Himself illustrated this universal law, for when the Holy Spirit came upon Him at His baptism, He was praying. Only tongues set on fire by the Holy Spirit can witness the saving power of Christ with power to save others. Before He returned to heaven, Jesus said, “… you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5-8. And it is also true that there is nothing predicated of Him being in us and in the world that is not predicated of God and Christ being in us, and in the world. The coming of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon prayer, for prayer only can compass with its authority and demands, the realm where this Person of the Godhead has His abode. He said that he will be "another Counselor." But now we come to the condition, for the brutal fact is that, though every true Christian has the Spirit of Truth, thousands walk in darkness and understand no more about themselves than the most blind pagan around. One was authorized activity, the other was unauthorized. Peter and John had been chastised by the chief priests and elders. Little by little, gradually, we begin to understand who we are, and what we are, and why we are what we are, and why others are what they are, and what this world is and where it is going and what its end is going to be. Message transcript and recording © 1964 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. Of so many of God's children it may truly be said, "Ye have Him not because ye ask not." What is the difference? There is a little sign, seen occasionally in offices, which says: Sometimes when we try to lay hold of a promise of God, and it seemingly does not work, the reason is we have never followed directions. The ability of God to answer and work through our prayers is measured by the Divine energy that God has been enabled to put in us by the Holy Spirit. The meeting would be held in lavish surrounds, I knew, and in such a resort area, oftentimes great religious indifference abounds. Prayer. But it is necessary that we take very seriously both aspects of what our Lord has said. 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