Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God. It is because we are not ready, simply, to take God at his word, and expect him to do these things. The truth is we seek after the Holy Spirit just as we seek after God, just as we seek after Christ, with strong cryings and tears, and we are to seek always for more and more of His gifts, and power, and grace. Ask, seek, knock, till He comes. In previous teaching, we studied who is the Holy Spirit. He is the Father's greatest gift for the child's greatest need. We were wrestling with this problem. I was down this weekend at Newport Beach speaking at the Mayors' Breakfast held in Balboa Bay Club, a lavish setting with yachts and pleasure boats anchored right outside the window. Holy Spirit, we ask thee to search our own hearts on this day, and save us from this damnable perfidy of talking truth and not living it, of echoing orthodoxy but refusing to submit in practical ways, or shepherding our resources and protecting our lives and refusing to fling them into thy cause and abandon ourselves to thy purposes. In particular, Lloyd-Jones, as a man of prayer, taught me how to pray in the Holy Spirit. As Jesus did not begin His work on earth till He was anointed by the Holy Spirit, so the same Holy Spirit is necessary to carry forward and make effective the atoning work of the Son of God. Wait, press, and persevere with all the calmness and with all the ardour of a faith which knows no fear, which allows no doubt, a faith which staggers not at the promise through unbelief, a faith which in its darkest and most depressed hours against hope believes in hope, which is brightened by hope and strengthened by hope, and which is saved by hope. 5:25). "In Christ's name" means in his authority, on the basis of his character, in the value of his work. If it is a need within this limit, you can ask for it and it shall be done, without failure. If it lies in the direction of the moving of Christ in the affairs of men today, whatever you need, ask. Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. No one stayed with him. That is what he is saying. . But that life begins and ever increases as the child of God prays for the Holy Spirit. In the time of his need they left him. Now, in Verse 12, the promise is tremendously plain. He said, "You know, I think I know what it is. He is there right from the start. "According to," says the Apostle, that is, after the measure of, "the power that worketh in us." 2. The Holy Spirit is not only the bright lamp of the Christian Dispensation, its Teacher and Guide, but is the Divine Helper. Why is this? This is the first time we have ever heard anything that seems to suggest an answer. I simply tried to call attention to the moral revolt that is widespread in the United States today and the fact that it is eating away at our national life and destroying the very foundation of our government, things that you read and are hearing today on every side. We need Him, and we need to stir ourselves up to seek Him. This is the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the glorified Jesus in His exaltation and power, coming to us as the Spirit of the indwelling Jesus, revealing the Son and the Father within us (John 14:16-23). I have learned, by long experience and by the Word of God, to recognize that that feeling of inadequacy is an excellent thing. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Keep us from this, that we may know the fulness of the glory of these promises fulfilled in our lives in this day and age. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. There must be, we say, for is Jesus really saying that Christians living today, in this 20th century, do not only the works which he did but greater works than these? 7 Things Scripture Tells Us the Holy Spirit Does. 1. This is the secret of a Christian: He is not living his own life, he is living another's life. He has given the Holy Spirit to you to draw you closer to Him for a more intimate relationship. As the pilot takes his stand at the wheel to guide the vessel, so the Holy Ghost takes up His abode in the heart to guide and empower all its efforts. The Holy Spirit Will Help You With Your Prayer Life. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will come upon us and we will receive power, tongues were not mentioned in Acts 1:8. (John 14:12 RSV). What is the difference? I asked for three things: I asked that what I said might be relevant, that it might come to grips with the situation in which these people found themselves. That frightens and staggers us. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than a church doctrine, it is a promise from God to His people. What you do in the power of the Spirit will not fade away. The ability of God to answer and work through our prayers is measured by the Divine energy that God has been enabled to put in us by the Holy Spirit. Norman Nelson was there and sang beautifully. Perhaps our greatest problem is to be so awestricken by these promises that we fail to heed the condition. Our human spirit is the element through which the Spirit of God dwells in us after being regenerated by Him (Romans 8:15-16; 1 John 2:20). We refuse to accept it at face value. One was authorized activity, the other was unauthorized. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought …” (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit confirms our relationship with God. Though filled with joy by believing in Christ, and though received into the Church by water baptism, they did not receive the Holy Spirit till Peter and John went down there and prayed with and for them. By the strength and indwelling life of the Father he did all the works that we marvel at as we read the story of his life. Now, we will say, at ten o'clock that night, that same policeman is drunk. Because of His love for the whole world and His desire that none will perish, God draws us into a personal relationship with Himself through The Holy Spirit. Is it God-centered, or is it self-centered? Long before, they had already begun to diminish. Let me illustrate: All of us are familiar with the phrase, "In the name of the law." Don't you hunger after truth sometimes? The world needs the Holy Spirit to convict it of sin and of righteousness and judgment to come and to make it feel its guiltiness in God's sight. "Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son; if you ask anything in my name, I will do it." "Many went back and walked no more with him" John 6:66 KJV), the writers of the gospel tell us. For permission to use this content, please review In Ephes.3, after the marvelous prayer of Paul for the Church, he seemed to be apprehensive that they would think he had gone beyond the ability of God in his large asking. What is the explanation of that? As he read, he discovered that this was the book because it revealed the One who understood him. This is the explanation for the prevailing weakness in Christian living. Would we grow in grace in particular? A Christian's true work is borrowed activity, it is never his own, and when he begins to think it is, he defeats every possibility of success. A few days after Pentecost the disciples were in an agony of prayer, "and when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit." Whatever, anything, I will do it. We marvel as we read the story or the beginning of his ministry. Holy Spirit, we ask thee to search our own hearts on this day, and save us from this damnable perfidy of talking truth and not living it, of echoing orthodoxy but refusing to submit in practical ways, or shepherding our resources and protecting our lives and refusing to fling them into thy cause and abandon ourselves to thy purposes. That is not the sense in which he is using it here. I know of no more challenging part of the Word of God than this. Website © 2021 by Ray Stedman Ministries. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children, – Romans 8:16. The other man said, "He ought to be, he did it!" To express thanks for the guidance and spiritual nourishment the Holy Spirit provides. That is why it is so important to have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. It is significant to note that, though Jesus never taught his disciples how to preach, he did teach them how to pray. This incident destroys every theory which denies prayer as the condition of the coming and recoming of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost, and confirms the view that Pentecost as the result of a long struggle of prayer is illustrative and confirmatory that God's great and most precious gifts and conditioned on asking, seeking, knocking, prayer, ardent, importunate prayer. The truth is, if we cannot pray for the Holy Spirit we cannot pray for any good thing from God, for He is the sum of all good to us. This is what Jesus says. You are not laying hold of his indwelling life, and for all practical purposes he is not there, he is only with you. "Whatever you need," he says, "ask for it and it shall be done." Already many of the searching things that he had been saying had separated the weak from the strong, and many had gone back and refused to follow with him anymore. Someone who stands with you and makes you strong; that is a Comforter, one who gives strength. It is the same action, and exactly the same man. Jesus said, "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. His gifts are the dispensations of His presence. That the Holy Spirit is in the world as God is in the world, is true. Then he is called the Spirit of Truth, and that is a wonderful statement. This is exclusively Christian. This is the law, a condition brightened by a promise and sweetened by a relationship. The coming of the Holy Spirit is dependent upon prayer, for prayer only can compass with its authority and demands, the realm where this Person of the Godhead has His abode. Our prayers and activities are so feeble and resultless, because He has not worked in us and cannot work in us His glorious work. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. He is the enabling agent in God's new dispensation of doing. He put his finger right on the point. Scripture talks about the Holy Spirit being poured out and the believer being filled up. And one of the mayors who had, before the meeting, insisted, with some asperity, that he would have absolutely no participation in the meeting, volunteered at the end to get up and say that this was something that he felt had sounded out the crying need of that area and he hoped that this would be an annual event. That was all the Incarnate Christ had to show for the marvelous ministry in the power of the Spirit which he had manifested among men. And this spirit of conviction on sinners comes in answer to the prayers of God's people. Policemen do their business "in the name of the law.". There is a little sign, seen occasionally in offices, which says: Sometimes when we try to lay hold of a promise of God, and it seemingly does not work, the reason is we have never followed directions. Since the Holy Spirit has the same Spirit of the Father, and since He resides in us, He will convey to us that Spirit, which will help us in prayer. Our Lord means exactly what he says but we must understand what he says. It is important to say a prayer to the Holy Spirit daily. Those who came, attracted by the things they saw, faded back into the shadows when persecution began to grow. 1. It’s trusting in faith and relying on God to hear, understand, and act. The key words are: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. John 15:16). But now we come to the condition, for the brutal fact is that, though every true Christian has the Spirit of Truth, thousands walk in darkness and understand no more about themselves than the most blind pagan around. That was the beginning. As His anointing by the Holy Ghost at His baptism was an era in His life, so also is the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost a great era in the work of redemption in making effective the work of Christ's Church. The Spirit that ever linked Christ to His Father and the redemptive mission is the same Spirit that would strengthen the disciples in their journey of faith. Being a person, the Holy Spirit has feelings. In these three words, "ask," "seek" and "knock," given us by Christ, we have the repetition of the advancing steps of insistency and effort. Those that you win to Christ, those that are brought by the ministry that you will be ministering will abide, and this cause will nourish in the earth and spread unto the uttermost parts till every nation shall hear the word, and out of every tribe and nation of earth shall come, at last, fruit that shall remain. I don't rebel against him." The measure we receive of Him will be gauged by the fervour of faith and prayer with which we seek Him. It is his work in us. There are so many different ways the Holy Spirit helps us to pray. In the direction in the Sermon on the Mount, we have the very plain and definite promise, "If ye, being evil,[]know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?" I strengthen my relationship with the Holy Spirit by consciously choosing to include Him in every conversation, every interaction, as often as possible. 16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17the Spirit of truth. 2. It did not remain; it had no enduring effects. The Gospel without the Holy Spirit would be vain and nugatory. We urge the seeking of the Holy Spirit. He dwelt with them before but he was to be in them on the Day of Pentecost. So, before the meeting began, I simply asked. Is that what he is saying? The truth is, that the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at any given meeting is conditioned on praying faith. It is not our relationship with Jesus Christ which counts before the world, it is our resemblance to him. After all, I am not Jesus Christ, and, therefore, I cannot be expected to do what he did." Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. Here are eight ways: 1. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit …” Ephesians 4:30. "), and the others should reply with the response ("And You shall renew . The Holy Spirit helps to guide us and leads us towards living a more Christ-filled life. Why not? A total failure! It will be given. No one opens the door, so after he knocks again and requests that it be opened in the name of the law and there still is no answer, he breaks it down and goes in and makes his arrest. And of many others it might be said, "Ye have Him in faint measure because ye pray for Him in faint measure.". The gospel cannot be executed but by the Holy Ghost. I welcome it now, because I know it is designed to lead me to ask for what I need. Christ lays down the clear and explicit law of prayer in this regard for all of God's children. Intellect cannot execute it, neither can learning, nor eloquence, nor truth, not even the revealed truth can execute the gospel. God moved in a visible way at that meeting, and when we had finished, I overheard two men discussing it. Intimacy with the Holy Spirit Relationship with the Holy Spirit How to know the Holy Spirit. Of so many of God's children it may truly be said, "Ye have Him not because ye ask not." Or, more accurately, another is living his life in him. The prophet Joel writes, But, having said all that, it is still true that, positionally, though the Spirit of God is dwelling in you, as far as you are concerned, experientially, it is as though he only dwelt with you. We were asking ourselves this question, "Why is it that though truth seems to be poured out continually in this place, through our teachers, in the pulpit and in so many ways, yet in many of our peoples' lives there is such a superficial shallowness? With Him, it is, it ever has been, and ever will be, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." And so he closes his appeal for them with the words, that God was able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. For Jesus is not saying here that a sincere, dedicated Christian of 1964 will actually be able, in his sincerity and his dedicated religious effort, to do what Jesus did in the 1st century, let alone do greater works than he did. When I simply give up arguing back, and start obeying the Lord, I discover all these things begin to work. And You shall renew the face of the earth. So the statement of James in the fifth chapter of his Epistle is to this effect: "The fervent effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much." How complex, confusing and involved is many a human direction about obtaining the gift of the Holy Spirit as the abiding Comforter, our Sanctifier and the one who empowers us! He puts and makes us members of the body of Christ by His work. To His disconsolate disciples, He said, "I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Comforter." Whatever! His ministry among men, as a man, was a failure. The believer receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, also called the promise of the Father. 1. That is the value of the works that he did. In Verse 12, the character of a Christian's work is borrowed activity: Jesus says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father." Now do you see what he means when he says "greater works than these will you do, because I go to the Father?" Even within a marriage, if our relationship is based only on mutual feelings or common values and not on the Spirit, it runs the risk of being swallowed up by the erotic and emotional. Much of his teaching on prayer is found in this rich and fragrant passage, which is called The Upper Room Discourse, found in John, Chapters 13 through 17. Even Christ was subject to this law of prayer. What a staggering promise this is! We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. At this time, these words will become the words of the Spirit. It is the simplicity of the child's asking of the Father, who gives with a largeness, liberality, and cheerfulness, infinitely above everything ever known to earthly parents. Here was a wealthy, affluent area. Man reasons continually in a vicious circle of unbelief that prevents him from discovering ultimate reality. But how do you square an excuse like that with a verse like this? Because Jesus says "... he dwells with you, and he will be in you," and there is a vital distinction there. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. '” (Pope Benedict XVI, June 4, 2006) Subject to permissions policy, all rights reserved. Acts 8:17 (NASB) Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit. All rights reserved. "He who believes in me." Let me ask you: "What kind of life are you living? They look amazed that you intend to take these words seriously, and act on them. Though we have the Spirit available to us, we are as deluded and as blinded as any worldling living next door. It is rather startling to realize that the work of the Incarnate Christ, that is, Jesus Christ of Nazareth working and walking among men, was, at its end, apparently a total and complete failure. "Oh," you say, "I'm not in rebellion against the Spirit of God. Invest your life into the salvation of souls. That means, so many months or years ago I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and now I am a believer. The whole lesson culminates in asking for the Holy Spirit as the great objective point of all praying. There is no elect company here, only the election of undismayed, importunate, never-fainting effort in prayer: "For to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." This is what we desperately need down in this area.". Second, that it might be challenging, that I might say something that would awaken these men; and third, that it might be powerful, that its effect would not diminish, that it would not be lightly swept aside but come home with power to the heart. Now that does not mean "He who is a Christian." Ask with urgency, ask without fainting. D. We can expect to receive a more intimate relationship to the Holy Spirit because it is a “good” desire in most instances. Do you see the difference? Would we pray efficiently and mightily? That seemed to me to capture exactly what Jesus is saying here. He is not saying that dedicated Christian men and women are really going to transcend what he accomplished as the Son of God Incarnate among men. Nothing can be stronger than this declaration assuring us of the answer unless it be the promise upon which it is based, "And I say unto you, ask and it shall be given you. Why? 1. Now what I said was neither clever or profound, it was very simple. Now, supposing a policeman goes into a cheap slum area of the city at three o'clock in the afternoon. Which one wins? Now, please don't nail me to the mast for heresy. Historically, it was true that these disciples were not to receive the indwelling of the Spirit until the Day of Pentecost. Thus, a conditioning statement is always the road to fulfillment. Praying in the Spirit is a gift to be received through faith in Christ Jesus. Silence leads to awareness Why did Jesus, the Creator of the World, and our Savior, need to rely on the Holy Spirit in His ministry on earth?Or did He? In this bewildering world, this perplexing age in which we live, don't you sometimes almost physically hunger for someone, somewhere, somehow, who can tell us the truth? That the Holy Spirit is in the world as Christ is in the world is also true. Until you have grasped that as the mystery and key of Christian living you have not graduated from the kindergarten level of the Christian life. The power of God to do for us was measured by the power of God in us. He brings to us the Spirit of the Father. They had been told not to “speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). Mary could not live over that Christ-life in the home of John, though she had nurtured the Christ and stored heart and mind full of holy and motherly memories, till she was empowered by the Holy Spirit. He is out in a residential area and for some reason on his own, in his drunken stupor, he stumbles up the steps of a house, and knocks on the door, and says, "Open inna name of the law." The names that he uses here suggest the richness of this promise. Dwell in us. One was truly done in the name of the law, the other was done outside the law, even though the same words were used. Is it to please yourself that your activities are done and your desires aimed?" There is another passage, Verses 13 and 14, which sets forth the fact that the basis of a Christian's prayer is borrowed authority. He enables us to discharge the functions as members of that body by His gifts. In John 15:16 he says to them, "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should remain." I commented how disturbing it is to sit down with a group of people and mention some great promise of Scripture or Christian life that ought to be ours and to have everybody nod their head in agreement with it, and then to see the look of shock come into their eyes when you propose some action on it. (A traditional Catholic prayer) Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. "Filled unto the goodness of God" Ephesians 3:19), is Paul's prayer for us, that in the possession of the Holy Spirit we may understand and realize that the One who comes is God himself indwelling us. Perhaps in this place, more fully than anywhere else, our Lord unfolds to us the unique secret of Christianity, that aspect of life that has been called "the exchanged life." The secret of prayerlessness is the absence of the work of the Holy Spirit in us. It is too wide to take unreservedly. Check out how and why here , and see what I'll be doing with my time, and how you can help, here . The gift of the Holy Spirit was vital to the work of Jesus Christ in the atonement. It was a challenging meeting, an opportunity to speak in the name of God to men who would otherwise never give an ear, and I felt it. There was only a tiny band of one man and three or four women that gathered around the foot of the cross. The Holy Spirit and Salvation. I am ready to obey." Though we have the potential he does not have, we are not getting into it. In the third verse above on the Holy Spirit, the first two sentences are giving us another powerful piece of revelation on this whole topic. We say to ourselves, "Can this be true of me? He is laying Himself out in command and promise in the strongest way, showing us that if we will lay ourselves out in prayer and will persevere, rising to higher and stronger attitudes and sinking to deeper depths of intensity and effort, that the answer must inevitibly come. Then the Holy Spirit must work in us efficiently and mightily. 1. He who is appropriating by faith that which I am will do these things. Whatever he is interested in having done on earth, then we, as the instruments of his activity, are involved in accomplishing it. What does he mean? His testimony was to a life-long experience of delving deeper and deeper into the marvels of a Book that understood him, because it was revealed by the Spirit of God who is the One who understands us. Remember, I warned you of that. Anything! Those within hear the thick voice and recognize that it is a drunken policeman and refuse to open. A Prayer to the Holy Spirit “This is the mystery of Pentecost: The Holy Spirit illuminates the human spirit and, by revealing Christ Crucified and Risen, indicates the way to become more like him, that is, to be ‘the image and instrument of the love which flows from Christ. This is the actuality of an exchanged life. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it. That is the condition. RayStedman.org/permissions. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, he takes away the veils, he dissolves the mists. God gives power and ability only to faith, and it is only when we learn that that these promises come alive in our life. Book because it neither sees him nor knows him explanation for the Holy what is the relationship of the holy spirit in prayer. not. Him believingly night at our Board of elders meeting we were wrestling with this: `` kind... Of a Christian ’ s prayer to the Father 's greatest gift for the child 's greatest for! 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