This is a recap of the latest sermon in our current series, Life in the Spirit
In John 14:13-14, Jesus gives us a blank check to the bank of prayer, right in the midst of His most extensive teaching on the Holy Spirit. This indicates an inseparable connection between our prayer lives and the work of the Spirit.
1. The Spirit's Role in Prayer
Blank checks don't do you any good if you can't find the bank or if there are insufficient funds behind the check. The Holy Spirit's first role in prayer is to intercede for us—to bring us to God in Christ, giving us access to the vault of heaven. And, the Spirit is the power of God to accomplish our prayers. Whenever we call upon the name of the Lord, we are calling down the very power and presence of God Himself!
2. The Spirit's Goal in Prayer
In John 14:13 and John 16:24, Jesus tells us the Spirit's goal is to glorify God and to give us joy. In fact, Jesus seems to indicate one of the key ways God gets glory is by pouring out grace and giving us joy. If we lack joy, we need only ask—the Spirit will accomplish His goal in prayer!
3. The Spirit's Dole in Prayer
A dole is a gift, a handout. What does the Spirit give us in prayer? He gives us Jesus Himself! Jesus shows this in John 14:18 & 23, and Paul reiterates it in 2 Corinthians 3:17. The Lord Jesus is so intimately bound up with the Spirit, that Paul says the Lord IS the Spirit! When the Spirit is with us, so is Christ!
Reflection & Application Questions
- Depending on the Holy Spirit begins with prayer in our lives. What is your prayer life like right now? How frequently do you pray? Be honest. Tell the Lord!
- How do you pray? Do you pray like you flip on the light switch? Or do you pray in amazement that God Himself is with you whenever you pray? If you lack a sense of God's presence or joy, might you be simply going through the motions?
- How can you cultivate a sense of amazement and wonder in prayer? What is one practical thing you can do to grow in this?
- Do your prayers line up with Christ's name, His will (1 John 5:14-15)? Why or why not?
- Do you lack joy in the Lord? Have you asked for it? Do you want it?
- Do you believe that God Himself is present with you when you pray? If you see unbelief in your heart, repent and ask forgiveness! Then ask for faith in Christ's promises! (Pray Mark 9:24 if you need help.)