How to Pray as the Spirit Leads

Jesus tells us we don’t pray as we ought to at the very beginning of his ministry (Matt 6:5-18).  But, thanks to Pentecost and the descending of the Holy Spirit, we now have direct access to the Father through the Spirit who is continually interceding on our behalf. (Romans 8:26)

People pray all of the time.  We pray for little things, we pray for big things, we pray when people are sick, we pray when we don’t have enough money, we pray when we feel we need something and God doesn’t seem to be providing.

“The Lords Prayer” is a simple version of trusting and relying on God for the bigger things.  And it’s quoted daily and weekly by different groups of people.

Are you praying that prayer for ritual?  Are you praying in the Spirit? Are you meaning every word as you say it?  Do you even know what that prayer means?

What does praying in the Spirit look like?

Is it in tongues? Is it quietly in a closet where no one can see? Is it knelt down in mass together for meaningless repetition of Scripture references turned into prayers?

Praying as led by the Spirit is simply a quiet heart before God, and open ears ready to listen as He moves in your heart.  And it can be in any setting you’re apart of, whether you’re in a prayer group, or in church, your heart and mind are open to pray as the Spirit directs.  While everyone else is chattering on in tongues, or while everyone else is ritualistically repeating words written over 500 years ago, even in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, you can stop and pray as the Spirit leads.

People say, “The Holy Spirit is always with us, we don’t have to ‘invite’ him to join us.” But this is not true.  Inviting the Holy Spirit to join you is an intimate experience that invites people to encounter God.  Being entirely directed by the Holy Spirit gives God room to move as He wills, and when God is on the move, hearts are changed, lives are reached, needs are met.

The Church of Acts had everything in common, because the Holy Spirit was in their midst and they were open and willing to be used by God, to worship God, to spread the message of Jesus Christ, and to help each other out as they had need.

The modern church lacks so many of these essential characteristics.  Satan got ahold of the church far too early into the game, and it took 1500 years for God to change the face of the Church, through Martin Luther, who became a catalyst for the Holy Spirit to get back into the doors.

Sadly, there was already a mindset established, and so many denominations have yet to break free from the “roots” of traditionalism to fully embrace God as He desired us to.  As the Early Church did.

When the Holy Spirit shows up, there is a definite Change in the atmosphere.  The presence of God is sweet, and refreshing, like living water to soothe the soul.  The air is fresh, you can smell the sweetness of heaven.  Those with the gift of Discerning Spirits can sense the presence of Angels in the congregation.

The Holy Spirit can show up anywhere.  Anytime.  His presence is undeniable.  When Jesus said His sheep know His voice, it’s true.  Especially when the Believers are pressing in together in prayer, entirely focused on Him, the Holy Spirit is undeniably in the midst.

Sadly, the Flesh can wrestle against the foreign voice, and impose it’s own will over the Spirit. (Genesis 32:22-32)  We’re taught to question the things we supernaturally sense, hear and feel, with good reason! (I John 4:1) Look at the Charismatic branches of Christianity!  The “slain in the Spirit”, the “drunk on the Spirit”, mass babbling on in tongues, and false prophecy is not of God.

However, when you KNOW it is God moving, it is so important to listen.
I have personally witnessed in my Spirit when people have wrestled against the Holy Spirit and imposed their own Will over church.  I’ve been called to intercede on behalf of pastors, when God wanted to change the sermon last minute, or do something different in service– and the pastors missed it.  I even stopped going to a church because of this, and God led me to a different place, one that I most certainly needed during that time in my life.

So how do we pray as led by the Spirit when so many different perspectives of Prayer and the Holy Spirit exist?

It’s simple.  Just listen.  Give your heart directly to God, and seek His voice.  And then be willing to pray as He directs.

Even if it means you’re praying against what you would wish for.  While everyone else in the room is praying for healing, and stumbling over their words, and you know you’re supposed to pray that God will provide for the people who are going to be left behind.  ((I’ve done this.  It is heartbreaking, but praying for God’s Will includes praying for the hard things.))

There are other times when we can get wrapped up in praying and focusing in on the things that are extremely important to us, and God has already done them!
A great example of this kind of praying is when the Believers are gathered together petitioning on behalf of Peter, and Peter was let out of prison by an Angel, and was at the door knocking, and they were so wrapped up in their prayers and petitions they didn’t even believe the servant girl when she said, “Peter is here, guys…..” (Acts 12:1-19)

We don’t know the mind of God.  We can’t see the bigger picture.  The Holy Spirit guides us in our weaknesses, even our weakness in prayer and not knowing what or how to pray.

There is a time to pray in tongues.  I pray in tongues from time to time.
There is a time to be still before God.  There is a time to petition Him with all of your heart.

Jesus told us to pray for His Will.  And His Will is most important.
To pray for His provision.  To pray for His forgiveness.
To pray for His Kingdom to grow.

And thanks to the Holy Spirit, we have a helper who can guide us into deeper, stronger relationship with God, to have glimpses of the Mind of God, in order to pray for the things we need, the things He wants for us, and the things we know those around us need. (Luke 24:45; John 14:16-18; Romans 8:2-6)

The veil has been removed, the Temple curtain torn in two.  We have access to GOD!  Why would you not take advantage of that, and draw into a deeper, personal, meaningful relationship with Him, by the overwhelming and glorious presence of the Holy Spirit?

If you are His, and He is in you, the Spirit is with you, and the Spirit will not guide you wrong.  Listen.  Quiet your heart before God, and give Him the ability to direct.  To speak. To move in your heart in a way you’ve never known before.

The Lord is in the silence.  (I Kings 19:1-15) This is why Fasting is so important.  To give up of yourself and your needs to press into an intimate and quiet time with God.  Honing in completely on the Voice of the Shepherd.

You do not always need to fast to have an intimate moment with God, however, fasting is powerful and necessary.
When driving out demons one time, the disciples went to Jesus and asked why the demons wouldn’t leave, and Jesus said some only come out through prayer and fasting. (Mark 9:14-29)

Why do you think that would be?

Because when you wrestle against spiritual warfare, Jesus Christ is the only way out.  Pressing into Christ without distraction, or futile satisfaction is imperative to overcome.  We can fulfill our bodies needs and desires, but only God can satisfy our spirit.

Why would you NOT give that part of yourself to Him?

The beautiful thing about God, He will not establish in your life anything outside of Himself and His word that has been passed down since the Early Church so that you may see and know His excellent works, know His will, and know the depths, height, love and power that He desires to have over your life.

We were created for His glory.  Giving of yourself entirely to Him is the best sacrifice you can make, after the Sacrifice Jesus Christ made of Himself for you.

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What is the core of Doctrine in Christianity?

That Jesus Christ was the son of God, who was wrapped in flesh to be born of a virgin to walk on the earth with mankind, establish the New Covenant and die on a cross for the redemption of ALL Creation, and HE is the only way to heaven.

Every evangelical denomination will hold to this core teaching.

There are many other “Doctrines” in Christianity today.
From the “Core Doctrine” to the “Lesser Doctrine” of the Baptist churches, the sixteen fundamental truths of the Assemblies of God, to five point Calvinism, EVERY evangelical denomination will claim they believe Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and He is Lord over all creation.

But, the Values of the Bible, the Teachings of Christ, the books of the Prophets, Apostles, Moses and the Jewish Law, the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the work of the Spirit, whether or not God speaks, the Redemption of Israel, the Tribulation, THE BIBLE ITSELF, have all been misinterpreted, taken out of context, and twisted into heretical opinions and teachings.

With so many voices screaming around us, and so many different opinions flying through the air, what do you believe?  Who is right, and who is wrong?

How do you tell what is “of God” and what is not in a time when the Body of Christ is divided against itself?

I am non-denominational in my “church” standings.  I lean towards the Baptist denomination, because they’re the ones that have it the most “right”.  They don’t have everything right, but they believe the Bible is the authority of Mankind, even if individual churches don’t believe everything in it to be true.  Like Calvinists, they are REALLY good at using the Bible to back up all of their points.  Which is awesome!  I Timothy 3:16-17  “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

But what I’m having trouble with is the legalistic, close-minded approach many individual congregations take to the Scriptures.  Everyone has their own “boxes” they fit God and the Spirit into.  What I find in many churches (especially some of the fundamental, traditional Baptist churches, Bible churches, and some other denominations) is that they go BY the bible, and only the bible.  The Spirit doesn’t have the freedom to move inside of the church and create a broader spectrum for Believers to grasp and understand.

Just because God saw to it that the Torah, the Jewish Chronicles and Histories, the Hebrews Psalms, the writings of Solomon, the books of the Prophets, the accounts of Christ, and the letters to the Churches were all bound together in a canonized book, so there would be no more confusion and carpal-tunnel from faithful scribes recording the letters over and over again…..  Just because God saw fit to give mankind these things in ONE book, He did not negate His right to move in the Spirit and reveal even greater things to the World.
Now, I don’t want to sound like a Universalist here, I believe FIRMLY that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Salvation (John 14:6) , and the Holy Spirit is the Seal of our Salvation (Ephesians 1:13-14).
However, I do believe that there is more prophecy, beyond the Bible, that God has for America, Australia, New Zealand…. If you haven’t noticed, the Cradle of Civilization was all in the Middle East.  All of the Old Testament prophecies are in relation to the coming Messiah, and the Nations surrounding Israel.  (Save for Daniel and Ezekiel, which have prophecies marking the end of days, and do include the rest of the world at times. E.g. the vision of the statue made in different materials, which was fulfilled through the Egyptian, Greek, Persian, Roman, and British empires, and still today with the bits of clay here and there.  And Ezekiel where the wars and rumors of wars are prophesied about that will take us into the end of days… and beyond, when every man in Israel will have a job for the next thirty years after the War of the Lamb [in Revelation 19], during the 1000 year reign where Jesus comes down to rule the earth)
I believe that there are SO MANY THINGS God has to say to individual believers.  And the reason why He says we need two or three prophets in the Church to agree and affirm a Prophecy given to one of them (I Corinthians 14:29) is to test whether the Word is from the Spirit.  Based off of the Consistency of God lined out in the Scriptures, and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can know whether or not a Word from a Prophet is true.

Since controversies arise in relation to the Gift of Prophecy and the active calling of Prophets, (as well as what I call paranoia of False Prophets) most believers (especially again the fundamental traditionalists, who claim the Bible is *all* we need from God) will deny the existence of it, and use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as an excuse to ignore they exist.  (They also use I Corinthians 13:8-9 as a reason to cut down the gift of Tongues.  But they haven’t exactly studied it to put it into context either.  I have a study on it that I will be posting later)
If God really did end these gifts, then why does He go on, through Paul, into Chapter 14 to tell the Believers how they should use Prophecy and Tongues?

These practices remind me of the Amish and their way of shutting out the World to keep from straying from God.

Should a Christian box off their mind and God, telling Him that He can only work the way THEY want Him to, or should they believe that God wont give them more they can handle, and slowly stretch their Faith in Him?
I didn’t come to believe everything I did in one night.  God stretched me, grew me and gave me understanding a little at a time.  Jesus grew in Wisdom and Stature, little by little.  I mean, He was Jesus – He already KNEW everything because He was Deity wrapped in flesh, but even so, the writer of Luke says even Jesus grew in Wisdom.

I promise you God wont lead you astray.  If the Bible is His Word, written as Holy Men of God were carried along by the Holy Spirit (I Peter 1:20-21), then He isn’t going to act outside of what has already been Established by the Old Testament, and the Gospels of Christ.  Jesus HIMSELF quoted the Law and the Prophets again, and again.  They already knew the Truth, because they’d been told generation after generation the stories of the people who had gone before them, and the great and wonderful things God had done for the Children of Israel.

If God incarnate, wrapped up in flesh, did not try to lead the people astray in His own teachings, but re-established God’s Word again and again, then wouldn’t the Holy Spirit do the same with you?

Don’t let Fear hold you back from serving God the way He designed you to serve Him.

*I* worship God in Nature, in Worship, in Dance… With the Elements.  I don’t worship the Elements, I worship and serve the Creator of the Created things 🙂
I don’t hinder the Spirit, and I go and do where He leads.  I speak as He prompts, and I trust that His Word will not return to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

Only the Lord knows the hearts of Mankind (I Samuel 16:7), yes?  Let your heart trust and rely on a God who has remained the same from the Beginning of Time until now.
The One that will never Leave or Forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6)
The One that Knows the Plans He has for you (Jeremiah 29:11-13)
The One that give you Strength when you can’t go on (Isaiah 40:29)

Stop relying on the teachings of Man, only capturing pieces of the Word of God.  Study it for yourself and let the Spirit guide you into the Truth that you seek.  Mankind was given the responsibility to spread God’s Word.  They’ve been doing it for over 2000 years now.  Since it was given to Humans, Humans have contorted Scripture to say what they will it to.  Human teachings have created controversies in the Church and division among the Body.

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15 NASB
Another version translates it into “Carefully Study”.
Either way, ask, seek and knock, and the doors will be open to understanding deeper what so many choose to never look for at all.