The Bible Speaks
by Gino Geraci
“. . . praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 20b NKJV).
Prayer is essential to growth, health and building for the individual and the Church. Prayer is in effect a spiritual activity. The Bible says “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12 NKJV).
We are given spiritual power, not only to refute error but to build ourselves up in our faith in Jesus Christ. To pray in the Holy Spirit is to pray with the empowering presence of the Holy Spirit, in the center of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit desires to make intercession for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).
The Holy Spirit has power but is not a power. The Holy Spirit has force, but is not a force. The Holy Spirit is not an “it” or an “idea.” The Holy Spirit is God with all the power, character and command of God. Some people think of the Holy Spirit as a manifestation, or an event or an utterance in tongues, but the Holy Spirit is a person.
Praying in the Holy Spirit empowers us, and purifies us. When the Holy Spirit appeared at Pentecost it was like flames or tongues of fire (Acts 2:3). When the Holy Spirit is spoken of in the New Testament, it is often in the context of fire. The fire is not a warm tingling or an emotional charge, but rather the dreadful purging of personal sin.
Fire and burning aren't always comfortable images. The presence of the Holy Spirit, the discipline of God, and the chastisement of the Holy Spirit can be very painful. But the results of the purification process are glorious. “The words of the Lord are pure words, Like silver tried in a furnace of the earth, purified seven times” (Ps.12:6). Praying in the Holy Spirit requires personal cleansing from sin, but before we are cleansed of sin, we must be convicted of sin.
Praying in the Holy Spirit includes, purity, power and strength. The Holy Spirit revives us when we are weakened by disease, injury, calamity and sin. The Holy Spirit enables us to endure pain, adversity and trials. The Holy Spirit equips us for ministry. Paul wrote, “I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power” (Eph.3:7). The Holy Spirit is our helper, teacher, and guide.
Do you struggle in your prayer life? The Holy Spirit knows everything. At times emotions run too deep for words. Yet the Holy Spirit is able to intercede on our behalf with moaning too deep for words. Sometimes we are confused by what we see as conflicts, trials or impossible problems. Other times we feel enormous pressure or even demonic oppression. Sometimes we are fighting for our survival. In those times, all we can do is whisper the word, “help.” Thankfully, even though our prayers may seem inadequate, we can count on the presence of the Holy Spirit to make our prayers powerful and effective. The Holy Spirit can help us provide meaning to the Word of God and the words of Jesus and apply them to our specific circumstance.
John Bunyon said, “In prayer it is better to have heart without words than words without heart.” Praying in the Holy Spirit is allowing the Holy Spirit to inspire and direct your prayers.
Does praying in the Holy Spirit mean “praying in tongues”? I believe it can! I believe the Bible speaks of a personal prayer language. 1 Corinthians 14:15 says “What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding,” and 1 Corinthians 14:4 reads, “He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself, but he who prophesies edifies the church.” I believe a careful reading of 1 Corinthians 12,14 gives the believer a solid basis for cultivating a personal prayer language. Although Paul places certain restrictions on the public use of tongues in prayer, he encourages the private devotional use of a prayer language.
Praying in the Holy Spirit provides forcefulness in our Christian life.
© 2007 by Gino Geraci
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He has served as a police chaplain for several police departments and currently serves as a Police Chaplain for the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Department. Gino has provided emergency service support in many national tragedies. He was a first responder at Columbine High School, Ground Zero in New York, and Platte Canyon High School.
Gino has appeared on scores of national and local radio programs as a guest, including television appearances with Lee Stroebel's Faith Under Fire. He currently hosts a daily radio program with Salem Media in Denver, Colorado area.
Gino is a much sought after conference speaker. He has conducted leadership conferences, Bible conferences, and emergency service support conferences with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Samaritans' Purse, Gospel for Asia in India and Sri Lanka, the Bible League in Africa, Food For The Poor in Jamaica, Mike McIntosh Crusades in Mexico, Somebody Loves You Bible Conferences with Raul Ries in Chile, Columbia and Peru, and pastor's conferences in much of the continental United States.
Gino is currently the pastor of Calvary South Denver where he continues to minister, preach, teach, and serve.
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