How to Pray Through the Holy Spirit

Living in the Spirit and our dependence upon Him is one of the most important concepts a Christian can learn to do. Often times, we try to do things in our power and by our own strength. We are taught from an early age in the West to be independent people, that we should not rely on anyone else. I think of the old saying about getting out of hard times, to just “pick yourself up by the bootstraps.” 

Christian life calls us to boast in our weakness and live a life of complete dependence on God. In the same way, when we are praying to the Father it is through the Spirit. The Spirit is often called the Counselor. He lifts our requests up to God in a way that aligns with God’s will, otherwise, we will pray and be out of align with the will of God. The Spirit intercedes for us and will pray for us through wordless groans. The Spirit is a tool that we often forget, but He enables the believer to have true communion with God and pray to the Father as we should.

Praying through the Holy Spirit

Christians should be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph 6:18). “Prayer is to be incited, as it were, by the Spirit. The Spirit moves within our hearts and assists us in bringing our prayers and petitions to the Father, in the name of the Son. Prayer is in the power of the Spirit, as He empowers all else that we do to the glory of Christ in our lives.”[1] Romans 8 verse 26 is a reminder of the help the Spirit offers us, “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.”

“For without a sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the heart to God, it is but lip-labour; and if it be not through Christ, it falleth far short of ever sounding well in the ears of God. So also, if it be not in the strength and assistance of the Spirit…it is not possible that it should be ‘according to the will of God’ (Rom 8:26, 27).”[2] Praying in the Spirit keeps the believer centered in the love of God as he awaits the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring them into eternal life (Jude 1:20-21). Praying in the power of the Spirit is doing so in reliance upon His help and intercession. The Spirit comforts us and makes communion with the Father and the Son both real and delightful.[3] The Spirit enables the believer to truly worship and enjoy it. He enables and works in the believer to express honor, majesty, greatness, and glory of Christ in their worship and prayer.[4] We must keep in mind that the Spirit acts as the “silent” member of the Trinity. Rather than drawing attention to Himself, He manifests His presence by exalting the Son and the Father. Spirit-filled prayer, therefore, moves from the Spirit through the Son to the Father, for generally the Spirit prompts and empowers us to address our heavenly Father through the name of Jesus.[5]

[1] Ware, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, 152-53.

[2] Bunyan, A Discourse Touching Prayer.

[3] Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity: An Introduction to the Christian Faith, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 97.

[4] Ware, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit, 154.

[5] Grenz, Theology for the Community of God, 498.

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