The Holy Spirit has come to lead us into a life of prayer. “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).
Consider what Paul is saying about the Holy Spirit’s role in our prayer life. We get so confused about prayer, making it seem so complicated. Go into any Christian bookstore and you’ll find countless books on the subject, replete with detailed formulas on how to pray.
These many theories can raise all kinds of questions about prayer:
- When does prayer become intercession?
- Is intercession measured by fervency, loudness, or the amount of time I spend on my knees?
- I’m instructed to pray according to God’s will, but how do I know his will?
- And how do I go about praying? Do mental prayers count?
- What, exactly, do I pray for?
Such confusion can be so overwhelming that it causes many to avoid praying.
Never has there been a time when the prayers of God’s people are needed more than now. We live in a world gone mad. As global events worsen, conspiring to rob people of peace, societies everywhere are looking for a source of comfort. But they’re not finding it in psychotherapy, in dead religion, in causes, or even in charity.
The Bible has told us, “The world does not know Christ and they will not receive him. But you know him” (see John 14:17).
One of our greatest concerns should be that we maintain a prayer life. When we neglect prayer, we grieve the Spirit of God. Yes, it is possible for us to grieve the Holy Spirit. Paul writes as much when he says, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30).
Indeed, the Spirit shares God’s grief over his people’s unbelief and prayerlessness. Consider just these few powerful ways the Holy Spirit plays a role in our prayers:
- Through prayer the Holy Ghost manifests the presence of Christ in us.
- Through prayer the Spirit seals God’s promises in our hearts.
- Through prayer the Comforter speaks hope to us.
- Through prayer the Spirit releases his rivers of comfort, peace and rest in our souls.