He began to read it and he discovered that this was the answer to his life-long search for what he called "a book that understands me." And it is also true that there is nothing predicated of Him being in us and in the world that is not predicated of God and Christ being in us, and in the world. 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. It will be given. He who is appropriating by faith that which I am will do these things. God moved in a visible way at that meeting, and when we had finished, I overheard two men discussing it. We were wrestling with this problem. 2. But I do know that the Holy Spirit plays a critical part in our prayer life; He empowers our prayers! He can become sad or angry, and others can insult Him and blaspheme against Him (Is 63:10; Mt 12:31; Ac 7:51; Eph 4:30; Heb 10:29). Our Lord is promising here that the One who will come to make his home in every Christian's heart and life is nothing less than God himself! We must seek the Holy Spirit by prayer. Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Before He returned to heaven, Jesus said, “… you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit … But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you.” Acts 1:5-8. The Holy Spirit and Salvation. 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. "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." I am ready to obey." Whatever he is interested in having done on earth, then we, as the instruments of his activity, are involved in accomplishing it. Our ability to work for God, and to pray to God, and live for God, and affect others for God, will be dependent on the measure of the Holy Spirit received by us, dwelling in us, and working through us. That is why it is so important to have a close relationship with the Holy Spirit. "According to," says the Apostle, that is, after the measure of, "the power that worketh in us." Would we be perfect in all graces? While he was here on earth the fullness of God was available to man only in one human body, the body of Jesus. His work in us to make us the children of God and His Person abiding with us and in us, as children of God, are entirely different stages of the same Spirit in His relation to us. Silence leads to awareness I have learned, by long experience and by the Word of God, to recognize that that feeling of inadequacy is an excellent thing. 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. That frightens and staggers us. 5. What a staggering promise this is! We need Him, and we need to stir ourselves up to seek Him. There is a condition to this, however. Would we grow in grace in particular? I never read it without feeling tremendously humbled in the experience of it. And we do not wonder at the crowds that followed him, hounding him, following him even into retreat, insisting upon his ministry, so that the news spread like wildfire throughout the land of Israel that here was a prophet risen in Israel again. Historically, it was true that these disciples were not to receive the indwelling of the Spirit until the Day of Pentecost. 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." Each of these divisions in this passage consists of a staggering promise of tremendous possibility, and linked with it is a statement of a limiting or qualifying condition. 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." Only tongues set on fire by the Holy Spirit can witness the saving power of Christ with power to save others. As we talked about this, one of the young men who was with us said a very helpful and insightful thing. He said that he will be "another Counselor." This is the condition. And even these, in the hour of his capture and appearance before Pilate, forsook him and fled. That is what he is saying. The projecting power of praying outwardly was the projecting power of God in us. There is a condition here. As he read, he discovered that this was the book because it revealed the One who understood him. He is the Father's greatest gift for the child's greatest need. Scripture talks about the Holy Spirit being poured out and the believer being filled up. But when the Spirit of Truth is come, he takes away the veils, he dissolves the mists. 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. These great promises have a condition linked with them that qualifies them, and without the fulfillment of the condition the promise will never work. Don't you hunger after truth sometimes? 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. To know the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how to have a relationship with Him, we must know His functions. . 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. Here is where we need to listen very carefully to exactly what it is he is saying. 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. Peter and John had been chastised by the chief priests and elders. The mightiest operation of God in us brings the mightiest praying. I don't rebel against him." To pray by the Holy Spirit we must have Him always. Wait and pray -- here is the key which unlocks every castle of despair, and which opens' every treasure-store of God. Then he is called the Spirit of Truth, and that is a wonderful statement. 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. We marvel as we read the story or the beginning of his ministry. It did not remain; it had no enduring effects. Man reasons continually in a vicious circle of unbelief that prevents him from discovering ultimate reality. 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. 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." Intellect cannot execute it, neither can learning, nor eloquence, nor truth, not even the revealed truth can execute the gospel. 1. 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. I have found it in my own life. If it lies in the direction of the moving of Christ in the affairs of men today, whatever you need, ask. You are not laying hold of his indwelling life, and for all practical purposes he is not there, he is only with you. Thus, a conditioning statement is always the road to fulfillment. The meeting would be held in lavish surrounds, I knew, and in such a resort area, oftentimes great religious indifference abounds. It is a vast area of mystery and beauty and glory. It is time now in our study of prayer to relate the subject to the total spectrum of Christian living. The Holy Spirit helps to guide us and leads us towards living a more Christ-filled life. But when you come to the end, where are the crowds? This is exclusively Christian. Amen. We refuse to accept it at face value. The Spirit plays a significant role in the book of Revelation. This is what he means, "Greater work than these shall you do, because I go to the Father." In these three words, "ask," "seek" and "knock," given us by Christ, we have the repetition of the advancing steps of insistency and effort. Wait in the Lord for the Holy Spirit. This is the actuality of an exchanged life. When we ask in Jesus' name we are to ask within the realm and scope of his work and his character. Scripture about Praying in the Spirit “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. He is there right from the start. The truth is, that the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at any given meeting is conditioned on praying faith. How are we to obtain the Holy Spirit so freely promised to those who seek Him believingly? He does not, like earthly teachers, teach us the lesson and then withdraw. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of all grace and of each grace as well. We sense immediately that this is too wide. (John 14:15-17 RSV). Though we have the potential he does not have, we are not getting into it. Here we have the initial lesson in prayer for the Holy Spirit which was to enlarge to its full fruitage in Pentecost. . Present at the meeting, I knew, would be scores of men who were not in any way outwardly identified with Christian faith and many of them would be typically shallow, rootless, unconcerned modern pagans. Being a person, the Holy Spirit has feelings. 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. He is called there because of some murderous activity that is going on, and he comes up to the address that has been given him, and knocks at the door, and says, "Open in the name of the law." I know of no more challenging part of the Word of God than this. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit …” Ephesians 4:30. Purity, power, holiness, faith, love, joy and all grace are brought into being and perfected by Him. 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. No, this promise cannot be limitless. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the only member of the Trinity who is still here on earth helping us remain on the righteous path. The world will never be able to understand reality, never! There is nothing quite as pagan, or silly, as this meaningless phrase, "this we ask in Jesus' name," added to our prayers without any understanding or regard as whether or not the prayer is actually being asked in Jesus' name. Long before, they had already begun to diminish. So, before the meeting began, I simply asked. Policemen do their business "in the name of the law.". Those who came, attracted by the things they saw, faded back into the shadows when persecution began to grow. What you do in the power of the Spirit will not fade away. Little by little, gradually, we begin to understand who we are, and what we are, and why we are what we are, and why others are what they are, and what this world is and where it is going and what its end is going to be. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. This is the law, a condition brightened by a promise and sweetened by a relationship. The Spirit of Truth -- there is nothing more magnificently Christian than this ability to see truth clearly. No one dared move from Jerusalem to proclaim or utter the message along its streets to the dying multitudes till the Holy Spirit came in baptismal power. We ask this in Jesus' name, Amen. '” (Pope Benedict XVI, June 4, 2006) The work of the Holy Spirit in a Christian’s life is an on-going process of becoming holy through sanctification. 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). 1. In Luke we have "good things" substituted by "the Holy Spirit." The key words are: “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. I remember Mr. Hendricks pausing and saying to us, with great significance, "Have you ever thanked God for unanswered prayer?". Praying in the Spirit is prayer with divine help. He stays to help us practise the lesson He has taught. 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. Now that does not mean "He who is a Christian." Dwell in us. This is what Jesus says. 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. John must wait till a fuller and richer endowment than all of these came on him. After he had finished singingHow Great Thou Art, I saw one of the mayors wiping the tears from his eyes. "Whatever you need, ask, and it shall be given you," that's all. They look amazed that you intend to take these words seriously, and act on them. One can desire a more intimate relationship with the Holy Spirit for the wrong reasons. God gives power and ability only to faith, and it is only when we learn that that these promises come alive in our life. It is because we are not ready, simply, to take God at his word, and expect him to do these things. We can see problems arising. Rain on Us Prayer Holy Spirit, our Comforter, and our Friend, as … John 15:16). Why not? In my experience I have discovered it is possible to have God at arm's length, dwelling with me. If we take this as absolutely unlimited, a sort of magical Aladdin's lamp that we can rub and ask for any possible thing in the world, certainly we have missed the true point of this passage. The other man said, "He ought to be, he did it!" “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us … The promise is so staggering that we attempt immediately to soften it. The measure we receive of Him will be gauged by the fervour of faith and prayer with which we seek Him. It is to be noted that in John 14:16, where Jesus engages to pray the Father to send another Comforter, who would dwell with His disciples and be in them, that this is not a prayer that the Holy Spirit might do His work in making us children of God by regeneration, but it was for that fuller grace and power and Person of the Holy Spirit which we can claim by virtue of our relation as children of God. He is the enabling agent in God's new dispensation of doing. 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. See who the Holy Spirit is. Expectation is the condition by which this becomes realized. This is what we desperately need down in this area.". 12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. One man, evidently a Christian, said to the other, "Well, you know, I think God was pleased with what happened this morning." Intimacy with the Holy Spirit Relationship with the Holy Spirit How to know the Holy Spirit. And note, this privilege is exclusively Christian. 1. The Holy Ghost executes the whole gospel through the man by His presence and control of the spirit of the man. The Holy Spirit was in the world in measure before Pentecost, and in the measure of His operation then He was prayed for and sought for, and the principles are unchanged. There is no passage that does it more effectively than the passage before us. St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit. All good is comprehended in the Holy Spirit and He is the sum and climax of all good things. They will never understand them because man is both the specimen to be examined and the examiner, and the problem is that the error that is in the examiner affects the examination! Message transcript and recording © 1964 by Ray Stedman Ministries, owner of sole copyright by assignment from the author. The Holy Spirit is a gift from the Father much like your salvation is a gift. Perhaps our greatest problem is to be so awestricken by these promises that we fail to heed the condition. 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. The Sevenfold Holy Spirit: The Spirit of the Fear of the Lord Hey everybody, I'm taking the plunge into a major life change to become a full-time missionary. Website © 2021 by Ray Stedman Ministries. He uses here a verb in the present tense which means "he who is continually believing in me." My hunger for learning how to pray in the Spirit came from a perplexing problem. But how do you square an excuse like that with a verse like this? This is the reason why, though we know these promises must be true because of him who spoke them, yet we see so dismally little evidence of it in our living. 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. Ask for the Holy Spirit -- seek for the Holy Spirit -- knock for the Holy Spirit. 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? Our prayers and activities are so feeble and resultless, because He has not worked in us and cannot work in us His glorious work. 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. When our friend, Mr. Hendricks, was a single young man in college he met a young lady whose mother immediately had designs on him. I record what pops into my head in brackets ( ), so I can look back and see how the Spirit may have spoken. The gospel cannot be executed but by the Holy Ghost. Would you pray with mighty results? The prophet Joel writes, 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? 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. That is the value of the works that he did. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will come upon us and we will receive power, tongues were not mentioned in Acts 1:8. The gift of the Holy Spirit was vital to the work of Jesus Christ in the atonement. That is our program for this study, So let us take it in detail. This is the first time we have ever heard anything that seems to suggest an answer. Ask, seek, knock, till He comes. It came to his ears that this woman had told some of her friends that she was praying that he might be her son-in-law. The names that he uses here suggest the richness of this promise. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. His ministry among men, as a man, was a failure. Now, in Verse 12, the promise is tremendously plain. When I simply give up arguing back, and start obeying the Lord, I discover all these things begin to work. But what he is saying now is, that as the Risen Christ, ascended to the throne or the Father, he himself will do through us, in terms of our personalities, and by the activity of our lives, greater works today than he did in the days of his flesh. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought …” (Romans 8:26) We say to ourselves, "Can this be true of me? 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). At this time, these words will become the words of the Spirit. ". The baptism of the Holy Spirit is more than a church doctrine, it is a promise from God to His people. Paul's praying was God's proof to Ananias that Paul was in a state which conditioned him to receive the Holy Spirit. How is it that Christians can know so much and experience so little?" Whatever! That the Holy Spirit is in the world as God is in the world, is true. 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. Let me ask you: "What kind of life are you living? 5. [Thought questions for Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and Prayer May 12, 2015]. What is the explanation of that? 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. "Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." 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." Immediately after the meeting two Chiefs of Police who were present from the cities of Newport Beach and Costa Mesa came right up to me, visibly moved, and shook my hand and said, "We know what you are talking about. If it is a need within this limit, you can ask for it and it shall be done, without failure. Is that what he is saying? 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. Why, it was his going to the Father that released the full potential of the Godhead for human lives and affairs. Check out how and why here , and see what I'll be doing with my time, and how you can help, here . And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you." It is the same action, and exactly the same man. He put his finger right on the point. Well, that is who this One is, the Spirit of Truth, the One who unfolds reality, who exposes error, who tears away the veils, who dissolves the mists that confuse us and blind us, who removes the doubts and brings us face to face with things as they really are in life. He is not saying everyone who is a Christian, and, in that sense, a believer, will automatically be able to do these things. Why is this? Those within hear the thick voice and recognize that it is a drunken policeman and refuse to open. This is plain and direct. Why, I'm a Christian. Do you see the difference? One of the most interesting verses where the Holy Spirit, prayer and boldness come together is found in Acts 4:23-31. You say, I am a believer. It is the child waiting, asking, urging and praying perseveringly for the Father's greatest gift and for the child's greatest need, the Holy Spirit. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. He enables us to discharge the functions as members of that body by His gifts. He sabotages the work of 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. The projecting power of praying is the measure of the Holy Spirit in us. Hence, the crucial importance of the Spirit in Christian life: indeed, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is the gravest of all sins (Luke 12:10). That certainly means a great deal more than a magical formula to tack on to the end of our prayers. (A traditional Catholic prayer) Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Those miracles he did, astonishing things, raising men from the dead, healing the sick, opening the eyes or the blind, delivering men, women and little children from the oppression or demons, touching with his hand the withered arm of a man and immediately it springs into full growth and life again. 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. The Gospel without the Holy Spirit would be vain and nugatory. In this latter work, His gifts and works are greater, and His presence, even Himself, is greater than His works or gifts. Whatever, anything, I will do it. The Holy Spirit confirms our relationship with God. 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. In the execution of the atoning work of Jesus Christ, in its general and more comprehensive operation, or in its minute and personal application, the Holy Spirit is the one efficient Agent, absolute and indispensable. 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. Remember, I warned you of that. Lord God, what hypocrites! Your fruit should remain. There are so many different ways the Holy Spirit helps us to pray. "Whatever you need," he says, "ask for it and it shall be done." 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. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Christ lays down the doctrine that the reception of the Holy Spirit is conditioned on prayer, and He Himself illustrated this universal law, for when the Holy Spirit came upon Him at His baptism, He was praying. "), and the others should reply with the response ("And You shall renew . 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. It was a great temptation to be there. 15"If you love me, you will obey what I command. A significant amount of the teaching on the School of Intimacy and Prayer is devoted to developing your relationship with the Holy Spirit. 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