Bible FAQ Series-How Do I Grow Spiritually Episode 2
A video of this text will be made available shortly.
Last week, we started a series on How Do I Grow Spiritually. We talked about the importance of God’s Word and its role in Christian growth. Today, we dive into a different realm of Christian growth—prayer. Prayer is probably one of the most neglected facets of the Christian life. I’ve been there myself. However, Satan tries to hold us back from prayer because it is a direct line to the one who gives us all things: that is Jesus Christ our Lord.
(James 1:17 KJV) “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Satan sees that prayer is a good and perfect gift and he tries to prevent it from coming down on the people of God by throwing in infirmities, troubles, and problems in our lives. Satan is envious of us because we have what he used to have. We have a direct line to the Father. He once had a direct line to the Father (he was an angel!). However, the Bible says in Isaiah 45:13 that “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.” Satan tried to exalt himself above God and the consequence was that he ended up in hell. Alright, now that I have made known our enemy in prayer, we can now learn how to combat the enemy through prayer.
1. We Must Pray Without Ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
This phrase has become somewhat of a cliché in recent years, but the efficacy of this verse remains the same. The word “ceasing” means stopping. In other words, we are to pray without stopping. That means we should be praying all the time. Many people think that prayer is limited to kneeling down, folding your hands, and lifting your head up to God. However, prayer is more than an outward act. It is a direct line to the Father. God’s phone lines never close at 9 pm EST or 8 pm PT. We have a constant connection with God through the blood of His Son Jesus Christ. Christ never came out of fellowship with God during his ministry on Earth. Since we are joint heirs with Christ, we have the same capability. We ought to utilize the direct line we have with the Father and pray without ceasing.
2. We Must Pray In the Holy Ghost (Jude 1:20)
(Jud 1:20 KJV) “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” What does it mean to pray in the Holy Ghost? It means to pray in accordance with the will of God. In the flesh, our prayers will naturally be selfish and self-seeking, but if we pray with the utterance that the Holy Ghost gives us, we will pray in accordance with what God wants, not what we want. Many people believe that praying in the Holy Ghost takes some of type of extra knowledge or power. No! Remember that as Bible-believing Christians, we believe in the individual priesthood of the believer. The only requirement for praying in the Holy Ghost is salvation. If you’re saved, the Holy Ghost lives in you and will work in you so that you may intercede and supplicate in accordance with the will of God.
3. We Must Pray the Prayer of Faith (James 5:15)
In the last paragraph, we discussed how to pray in accordance with the will of God. The third requirement in prayer is that we have to have faith to believe that God will carry out His Will here on Earth. In the model prayer of Matthew 6:9-14, Jesus says in verse 10, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” In our prayers, we ought to pray the prayer of faith that God’s Will will be carried out here on Earth. God promises us in James 5:15 that if we pray the prayer of faith it “will save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” If the prayer of faith is powerful enough to save the sick, move the hand of God, and forgive sins, why wouldn’t we want to pray with unwavering faith?
4. We Must Pray with Joy (Philippians 1:4)
In the last three paragraphs, we’ve discussed that prayer is a direct line to the Father and that if we are saved, we have the power to pray in accordance with the will of God. We also know that the prayer of faith is very powerful and can move the hand of God. However, if we don’t have joy in communing with God, what good is there in all of this? Paul says in his letter to the Philippians and verse number four, “Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.” We ought to make our requests with joy, knowing that without the blood of Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t have the privilege of freely communicating with God. If we reflect on this truth, it will help us appreciate the wonderful gift of prayer that many of us take too lightly.