Prayer is potent. It can accomplish much. But while prayer can certainly affect the world around you, it is most effective on the one who prays. Prayer is a force that can change the outer world, but it is most trans-formative toward the inner man. Prayer causes you to become its own answer.
There are many things for which we can pray, but I want to help you focus your prayer on your friendship with the Holy Spirit. This week, we will focus our prayers on these four areas:
Pray to hear His voice…
Pray to obey His leading…
Pray to receive His power…
Pray to understand His revelation…
Hear His Voice
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
If you belong to Him, you can His voice. You just have to spend enough time seeking Him to recognize that voice. Don’t fall for the commonly accepted myth that the believer must struggle to hear the voice of God. Did the prophets, the apostles, or early Christians struggle to hear God? Certainly not! You can hear His voice with confidence and clarity. The question is not, “Can I hear God?” The question is, “Am I a sheep?”
Pray this prayer:
Holy Spirit, help me to find your voice in the sacred place of silence and stillness. I commit myself to quietness. Speak to me; I’m listening. Thank you that I don’t have to struggle to hear you. Thank you for speaking with absolute clarity. Help me to hear your voice on a moment-by-moment basis. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Obey His Leading
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” – Ephesians 4:30
We all have things in our past of which we are ashamed. Disobedience can be quite damaging to not only your mind and emotions – but also to your life and those around you. But God’s mercies are renewed every morning. There’s no reason or benefit to be found in beating yourself up over your sin. Instead, renew your commitment daily to obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit and avoiding grieving His vulnerable heart. From this moment on, commit to a lifestyle of repentance and obedience.
Others cannot pray for you to be obedient to God. God inclines the heart of those who approach Him in humility. You must seek the obedience of the Lord for yourself personally and willingly. Even if you struggle in certain areas, you can ask the Lord to make you willing to obey. In other words, you can be willing to be made willing. He’ll meet you right where you are.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” – Psalm 51:12
“Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.” – Psalm 119:36
Pray this prayer:
Holy Spirit, I want to be more like Jesus. I want to obey your leading and walk in righteousness. Give me the grace and the power to live holy, and help me to keep going when I falter. Thank you for dwelling within me and supplementing my lack, for placing your strength where I am most weak. Thank you for making up the difference. I renew my commitment to a lifestyle of obedience and repentance. Give me your empowering grace. In the merciful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Receive His Power
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere–in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
The Lord gives us His power to accomplish His purposes. The primary reason for which God will give you power is the spreading of the gospel. Grace empowers you to live holy, but the kind of power being talked about by the Lord in Acts 1:8 is the power to fulfill the great commission, to participate in the divine and global mandate of world evangelism. You can’t do it without the power of the Holy Spirit. We need a fresh infilling of power.
“Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit…” – Ephesians 5:8
The phrase “be filled” in that portion of Ephesians, in the original language, means to be filled “continually”. For example, when you plug your phone into its charger and it reaches a 100% charge, it is both charged and being charged. We must live in the states of both “filled” and “being filled”. We must walk in a fresh empowering through daily surrender.
Pray this prayer:
Holy Spirit, I can’t be an effective witness without your power. Help me to focus on the task of global evangelism, and then give me the power to do it. I want to live in a constant charge of your power. Remind me constantly to plug into the source. Thank you for your power that makes me a soul-winner. In the powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Understand His Revelation
“But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true–it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ.” – 1 John 2:27
The natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit. Only spirit can understand spirit. We cannot receive God’s revelation by the flesh – by intellect or human wisdom. We can only come to truly understand God’s Word by the Holy Spirit. The Spirit without the Word brings only inspiration. The Word without the Spirit brings only information. But, together, the Word and the Spirit bring revelation.
“But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” – John 14:26
Pray this prayer:
Holy Spirit, be my Teacher and my Guide. I can’t truly know God or the things of the spirit without your help. Make the Word come alive for me. Make Jesus real to me. Vivify the Master! Reveal Jesus, the Word, to me in a way I never knew possible. Thank you for being so patient with me. Thank you for being such a masterful Teacher. I love you with all of my heart. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.