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The Spirit of Prayer. Zech 12:10

05/08/2019

The Spirit of Prayer!

Text: Zechariah 12:10 Romans 8:26-28

Zechariah speaks in this verse of something that will occur to the ‘inhabitants of God’s city’ in a time when God’s blessing is being rained upon them.  They will experience a desire to pray!  There are some who will not regard prayer as a blessing, rather as a chore and there are actually identifiable reasons why this happens:-

  • Because we simply don’t know what to say! Romans 8:26  The disciples had been in the physical company of Christ for months, listened to his preaching and heard the greatest sermons ever preached and witnessed the most amazing miracles, and still had to ask, ‘Lord teach us to pray…’
  • We have an in-bred inability when it comes to prayer!  Paul speaks of our ‘infirmity’ – our weakness.   Matthew 26:40-41   

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So, we need help to pray.  The help that we need is the help of the Holy Spirit, for we cannot pray without Him!  In response to our appeal for God to rain down blessing upon us, he sends us the Spirit of Grace and Supplication!

1. True Prayer is a Blessing from God the Holy Spirit!

 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications:   The Spirit of Grace and Supplication is the Blessed Third person of the Trinity, the Holy Ghost.  What is the connection between the Holy Spirit and the prayer life of the believer?

  • He INITIATES our prayer life!  The very first instance of the Holy Spirit helping us to pray occurs at conversion.     Isaiah 1:15  In fact there is only one prayer that God wants to hear from unregenerate people, and that is the prayer of repentance and faith! When a person is saved, the Holy Spirit comes to convict of sin, and to dwell in that person’s life, and creates the desire to pray, and of course immediately the person wants to confess their sin before the Lord and cry out in repentance for forgiveness! Acts 9:11  
  • He DIRECTS our prayer life!  Now prayer is not just making a speech to God.  Nor is it a rambling recitation of our preferences, nor is it coming to God to ask him to rubber stamp what we have already decided.  With the Holy Spirit now in charge of the Christian’s life, prayer begins to develop into a pattern:-
    • Worship!  The Holy Spirit reveals to us the true nature of God!  We begin to realise the wonder of the God to whom we pray.   
    • Confession!  Because when the Holy Spirit dwells within us he reveals to us who we are!  We start to see ourselves as God sees us 
    • Supplication!  He dwells within!  He knows us, inside out!  He knows what we need, even before we ask, and even when we cannot find words to express our needs before God in prayer, the Holy Spirit searches our hearts and relays our needs to the throne room of God, with expressions that we could never even pronounce!  Romans 8:27  
  • He STRENGTHENS US as we pray!  Again we must look at Romans chapter 8, where we read in verse 26 that the Spirit helps us in our weakness!  Ephes. 3:16  Don’t depend on your own strength when you pray!   We must pray in the Holy Ghost!
  • He brings our prayers into CONFORMITY WITH GOD’S WILL!  Romans 8:27  Of course, God reveals His will to us supremely in His Word, the Bible.  The Holy Spirit helps us for He applies the Word to our hearts, and He teaches us how to use the Scriptures in prayer 

And all of that is proof enough of the work of the Spirit in relation to prayer.  He is truly the Spirit of Grace and Supplication.

 

2. True Holy Spirit led Prayer brings us CLOSER TO CALVARY!

and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

When the Spirit of Grace and Supplication is poured out upon the inhabitants of the Lord’s city, there is a direct result.  They turn their thoughts to the Cross!  

  • We admit our part in His death!  Of course we pray that this will be the portion of the Jews.  That one day they will return to the Lord, and that they will accept the Messiahship and Lordship of Christ, that the Holy Spirit will take control of them and that they shall repent for their part in the crucifixion of Christ, which we noticed in our last study.  But we were not innocent bystanders on the day that Christ died!  We were just as guilty of the crucifixion as were the Jews.  We were the ones whose sins led Him to the Cross, and held Him there, we were the ones who shouted ‘crucify!’
  • We mourn over our sins!   
    • There will be private, inward mourning! as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
    • There will be public outward, mourning!  In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.  And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 
    • There will be family mourning!  See the emphasis on families here.  Is it too much to assume that spirit-led prayer, by those who have experienced God’s grace, will have a huge inpact on our families?  We long for household salvation, and the Holy Spirit leads us to prayer for our families.

So, when the Spirit of Prayer comes upon us, we will hate our sins, and mourn over them with great loathing!  And we will come to the Cross, to be closer to Christ as we pray!

© BobMcEvoy August 2019

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