Praying in the Holy Spirit

Today in our church service we are considering these two verses which reference “praying in God’s Holy Spirit.”

But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit, and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love. (Jude 1:20, 21 NLT)

Also:

Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. (Ephesians 6:18 NLT)

Our pastor (Mateen Elass) pointed out these references are not talking about speaking in tongues. Neither is this a reference to God interpreting our groans & nonverbal messages which we share as we pray.

Instead, these verses are calling us to be “in sync” with the Holy Spirit so out desires & passions are in alignment with God’s. As we read in the Psalms:

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper— it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity. (Psalms 37:3-11 NLT)

God is not a “vending machine in the sky,” giving everyone the selfish desires of their hearts focused on sin and selfish ends. Rather, God calls us to invite his Holy Spirit into our very bodies, so we would be filled with HIS desires as well as his powers and abilities. This is what New Testament authors are referencing when they exhort the church to pray “in God’s Holy Spirit.”