PRAY PERFECT PRAYERS IN THE SPIRIT
Romans 8:27 – Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Wouldn’t you like to pray effective prayers that are always in line with the will of God and which always hit the mark? Well, when you pray in the Spirit, you can.
You see, when we pray in English or our known language, and according to our limited understanding, we can pray amiss. Sometimes, our heads get in the way and we find ourselves asking, “Isn’t it selfish of me to pray like this?” or “Am I praying in line with God’s will?”
My friend, that is why God gives us the gift of praying in tongues. When we pray in tongues or in the Holy Spirit, we can never pray out of God’s will because the Holy Spirit “makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God”.
In other words, we pray perfect prayers in line with God’s will when we pray in tongues. And the Bible goes on to tell us that “if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him”. (1 John 5:14–15)
Isn’t it wonderful that God has put in you the Holy Spirit who prays perfectly? He knows the heart of God and precisely what you need. And He makes intercession for you because He loves you very much.
The Holy Spirit is like your lawyer or legal counselor. He knows what belongs to you legally. He knows what your blood-bought rights are in Christ. Best of all, He knows exactly how to enforce them in your life!
Beloved, when you pray in tongues, you allow the Holy Spirit to pray perfect prayers through you. He pleads your case before God. He knows where you have gone wrong and what the root of the problem is. He also has the wisdom, solution and power to win your case. With the Holy Spirit on your side, you cannot but come out victorious!
WALK IN THE LIGHT …
Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. – John 11:9-10
Jesus compares His decision to return to Judaea to a man traveling during the day. Daytime travel doesn’t guarantee a hazard-free trip but the light does allow us to see the hazards. At nighttime, it’s inevitable that we will stumble. Likewise, walking in the light of God’s direction doesn’t mean that there won’t be problems, but the alternative of “doing our own thing” (that is walking in darkness) is guaranteed to get us into trouble.
Jesus was obeying the leading of His Father to return to Judaea. He could see exactly what was going to take place and He was going to walk in the light that His Father had given Him. Our decisions should not be based on whether or not we will be hurt in some way as a result of our actions, but we must discern God’s will and do it regardless of the cost.
The misconception that, “if God is in it, there will be no problems” is not only wrong, but is dangerous. This kind of thinking has caused many people to “back off” from what God has told them to do when things don’t go the way they expected. Our problems do not come from God, therefore, we should not pray for problems and not embrace them as being “a blessing from God in disguise.” Furthermore, when trials come, we should not be shocked (1 Pet. 4:12) and not let problems or the lack thereof confirm or deny God’s will for us.
Jesus died for each one of us. Each one of us ought to live for Him. Offering ourselves to God is not just a one-time deal. We have to die daily to our own desires. This has to be a living, ongoing commitment to the Lord.
MUSTARD SEED FAITH …
If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea’ and it will obey you – Luke 17:6.
A mustard seed is a very small thing, but when it’s planted, it grows into a huge tree. In the same way, Jesus is saying that a little bit of faith can bring tremendous results! As a believer in Him, you already have enough faith on the inside of you to overcome any obstacle. The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you! It doesn’t matter if you grew up in church or not; it doesn’t matter what you know or don’t know, God wants to work in your life today! You may not see how, but all you have to do is believe God. With God, all things are possible!
Do you have mustard seed faith today? That’s all you need. Put your faith into action by declaring promises. Praise Him and thank Him for the victory He has prepared for you!
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! —Psalm 46:10
In the 2003 US Women’s Open, the relatively unknown Hilary Lunke secured the greatest prize in women’s golf—and a place in history. Not only did she win the US Open in an 18-hole playoff, but it was also her only professional victory. Her surprising and inspiring win underscores the fact that one of the most exciting things about sports is its unpredictability.
The unpredictability of life is not always so thrilling, however. We devise and strategize. We make plans, projections, and proposals about what we would like to see happen in life, but often they are little more than our best guess. We have no idea what a year, a month, a week, or even a day might bring. So we pray and plan, and then we trust the God who knows fully and completely what we can never predict. That is why I love the promise of Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Life is unpredictable. There are countless things I can never know with certainty. What I can know, however, is that there is a God who knows all and loves me deeply. And by knowing Him, I can “be still”—I can be at peace.
God’s care is the certainty we take into life’s uncertainties.
HOW TO OVERCOME PERFECTIONISM
…think about the things that are good… – Philippians 4:8 NCV
Be honest: Have you ever met a perfectionist who was truly happy? No, because when things must always ‘be a certain way’, life becomes miserable because it’s constantly changing. As soon as you solve one problem, another comes along. Instead of dwelling on their blessings and being grateful, perfectionists focus on what’s wrong and why they need to fix it. It may be a job they did that was less than perfect, a few kilos they need to lose, or even a disorganised wardrobe. Or it could be someone else’s imperfections: the way they live their life, how they behave, or the way they look. Constantly dwelling on flaws—your own or someone else’s—makes it impossible to be grateful. And gratitude is at the core of happiness. Now, let’s be clear; we’re not talking about striving to do better. That’s a good thing. We’re talking about obsessing over what’s wrong. There’ll always be a better way to do something, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy life the way it is right now. So what’s the cure? Catch yourself before you fall into the trap of insisting that things should be different from how they are. Stop and remind yourself that, in the absence of your judgment, everything will work out just fine. Paul says, ‘…in all things God works for the good of those who love Him…’ (Romans 8:28 NIV) Are you getting it? God’s in control; it’s ok for you to let go. Instead of focusing on the negative, ‘think about the things that are good and worthy of praise.’ (Philippians 4:8 NCV) When you do, you’ll begin to discover how wonderful life is.
Most people have no trouble finding things to complain about: traffic is slow, gas is too expensive, the weather is bad, prices are too high. Yet in every single situation, that same person also has a lot to be thankful for: he can drive, has a car, has a shelter to be protected from the weather, and has the money to purchase necessary items.
Your circumstances may not be all that great, but wherever you are it is God’s will that you give thanks in everything (1 Thessalonians 5:18). As a Christian, that is possible because no matter what your circumstances are, you can always thank God for deliverance through Christ (see 2 Corinthians 2:14; Romans 7:24-25).
Indeed, the Israelites knew that thanksgiving was so important that part of the official duty of the tribe of Levi was to thank God: They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the Lord (1 Chronicles 23:30). They had heart of thankfulness and were instructed to be thankful regardless of what happened that day.
The psalmist wrote: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name (Psalm 100:4). Notice that we can’t even enter God’s gates unless we’re thankful.
It certainly is possible to live giving thanks to God the Father for everything (Ephesians 5:20), because thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more. —Philippians 1:9
Like many people, when I read a newspaper or magazine I notice the misteaks in grammar and spelling. (You saw that, didn’t you!) I’m not trying to find errors; they leap off the page at me! My usual reaction is to criticize the publication and the people who produce it. “Why don’t they use ‘spell check’ or hire a proofreader?”
You may have a similar experience in your area of expertise. It seems that often, the more we know about something, the more judgmental we become over mistakes. It can infect our relationships with people as well.
Yet Philippians 1:9 expresses a different approach. Paul wrote, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment.” God’s plan is that the more we know and understand, the more we love. Rather than cultivating a critical spirit and pretending we don’t notice or don’t care, our understanding should nourish empathy. Criticism is replaced by compassion.
Instead of our being faultfinders, the Lord calls us to be “filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God” (v. 11).
When the Lord fills our hearts, we can overlook mistakes, hold our criticism, and love others, no matter how much we know about them!
Lord, by Your grace, please replace my critical spirit with Your love and compassion for others.
To err is human; to forgive, divine. – Alexander Pope