In Isaiah 41:10-13, God promises to help us. From this passage, we see that the help God promises to give us comes in three ways:
• When we are WEAK – there will certainly be times of weakness. But God promises to help us by strengthening us at such times.
• When we are ABOUT TO FALL – there will be times that it appears you are falling spiritually, or your marriage, business, or career is falling. At such times, you won’t be left helpless. God will uphold us with His righteous hand so we don’t fall and suffer a great crash.
• When we are SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES, people are opposing you and raging against you – We are in an ongoing battle and we are daily faced with seen and unseen enemies, physical as well as spiritual enemies. But God promises to help us by putting those enemies to shame and disgrace, and driving them away from us such that we will look for those enemies but they will be nowhere to be found, we will look for that problem that has been troubling us and realize that the problem has quietly disappeared. I pray this will be your portion. That after today’s message you will discover that all those that have been opposing you and coming against you are nowhere to be found because the Helper of the Helpless has sent help to you.
GOD IS AN EVER PRESENT HELP IN TROUBLE
Psalm 46:1 refers to God as a timely, ever present help. That verse tells us that “God is our refuge and strength an ever present help in trouble”. Verse 2-3 goes on to say that even if the whole world is falling apart, there is trouble and calamity everywhere you turn, you can count on God to send you help at such times. Indeed there’s so much trouble and calamity in the world today, nothing seems to be working, there’s so much lack and hardship, people are losing jobs, contracts, businesses etc. There are so much complaints and lamentations of a casting down, but God is assuring us through this Psalm that no matter how bad things turn or get, you can count on God to send you help or to come and help you. God will never leave you alone or stranded when you are faced with difficulties.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN GOD’S PROMISE TO HELP US, GOD AS AN EVER PRESENT HELP, AND THE HOLY SPIRIT
It is through the Holy Spirit that God fulfills His promise to help us, that God manifests Himself to us as an ever present help. In John 14: 16, Jesus, close to His ascension to heaven, told His disciples that He would pray to the Father to send another HELPER who would ABIDE PERMANENTLY with them. The Holy Spirit is an ever present helper. One of the main reasons why God has given us the Holy Spirit is so no child of God is ever left stranded. That in whatever situation you find yourself, whether it is a time of weakness, a time when it appears you, your ministry, marriage, or business is falling, or you are facing satanic opposition and resistance, YOU WILL HAVE SOMEONE MUCH STRONGER THAN YOU RIGHT THERE WITH YOU TO HELP YOU THROUGH SUCH SITUATIONS, TO HELP YOU COME OUT OF SUCH SITUATIONS.
THE HOLY SPIRIT’S ROLE AS A HELPER
We have established that the Holy Spirit has been given to us as a helper, an ever present helper. Let us look at specific ways the Holy Spirit helps us in our relationship with God and in our daily living. The Holy Spirit helps us to worship God in spirit and in truth (Ephesians 5:18-20, John 4:24), He helps us to understand God’s Word (1 John 2:27, 1 Corinthians 2:9-10,14), He helps us to complete personal as well as divine projects, tasks, and assignments (Zechariah 4:6-9), He helps us to be fruitful (Isaiah 22:15), He helps us to radiate the glory of God (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Today we want to look at how the Holy Spirit helps our prayer lives.
THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO PRAY EFFECTIVELY TO GOD
James 5:16 makes us understand that for your prayers to avail much, for you to pray and have results, your prayers must be EFFECTIVE and FERVENT. This goes to show that not all prayers are effective. It is the Holy Spirit that helps us to pray effective prayers.
Left to ourselves, we don’t even know what to pray about, we don’t know how to pray as we ought to. This is a weakness we have (Romans 8:26). But remember God’s promise in Isaiah 41: 10 that when we are weak, He will strengthen us. God helps us to overcome all weaknesses in the place of prayer through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There are four major ways the Holy Spirit helps us to pray.
THE FIRST THING THE HOLY SPIRIT DOES FOR US IN THE PLACE OF PRAYER IS TO HELP US RELATE OR TALK TO GOD AS A FATHER (ROMANS 8:15, GALATIANS 4:6).
Seeing God as a Father is of utmost importance to our prayers or prayer life. When Jesus was teaching His disciples how to pray, He made them understand that the first step to praying effectively is being able to see and relate with God as a Father. He taught that when you pray, call God your Father, talk to God as your father: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). Most people address God as God, Lord, or Jehovah when praying and there’s nothing wrong with that. But the Holy Spirit helps us to address God with more affection and tenderness; to call Him “ABBA FATHER”.
Romans 8:15 is actually trying to differentiate between praying to God like a slave and praying to God like a child. That there is A SPIRIT OF BONDAGE OR FEAR and there is THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION OR SONSHIP. A slave is a person in bondage, a person who isn’t free. In a house where you have a helper or maid, you will discover that no matter how nice the parents of that house are, the housemaid isn’t as free with the parents in the house like the way the children are free with their parents. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17) and where He is, when He dwells in a person, He makes that person free to talk to God anywhere, anytime and about anything. The Holy Spirit helps you to pray to God about anything from seemingly mundane things to very serious issues (Philippians 4:6).
It is the Holy Spirit that puts that Spirit of Sonship in us that we can come near to and relate with a God who is a consuming fire. In Exodus 20:18-21, the Israelites demonstrated so much fear for God. This is the type of fear Romans 8:15 is talking about. Not a reverential fear as we should all have the fear of God in us but a fear that keeps you in bondage, a fear that makes you have a very cold and distant relationship with God. While the Spirit of Adoption or Sonship is the Spirit that makes you free to come near to God and relate with Him even when there’s fire, thunder and lightning all around Him, because you have a personal revelation and understating of God as a Father. The Spirit of sonship helps you see God as a Father that is close by and can be approached for help when you are in need or faced with a problem (Hebrews 4:16), a Father that loves you and wants to give you the very best (Luke 11:13, James 1:17, Matthew 15:21-27), a Father that will still not abandon or cast you away when you mess up, make a mistake, fall into sin or error (Luke 15:11-32), a Father that is strong enough to protect you from all manner of danger, all enemies, or any ‘bully’; that wants to oppress you (Psalm 138:7, Psalm 121:7-8), a Father that will quickly remove anything and anyone He notices can harm you (2 Timothy 4:18), a Father that immediately notices when you are sad, crying and in pain and wants to carry you, comfort you, and wipe away your tears (Isaiah 46:4, Isaiah 25:8).
The Holy Spirit helps us to see God in this light, as a loving Father we can fondly and confidently cry out to in desperation for help.
THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO PRAY THE WILL OF GOD
Romans 8:27 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps us to pray prayers that are in line or align with the will of God because He knows what God’s mind is on every issue (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).
Praying the will of God is important because it is the prayers that are in line with God’s will that God hears and answers (1 John 5:14).
When you are praying the will of God, you pray with confidence because you are praying about something you know God wants to give you.
Here are some specific things that are clearly the will of God we can pray about:
– For God to help you do good to people (1 Peter 2:15).
– For God to help you to be thankful to God no matter the situation you find yourself (Ephesians 5: 20, 1 Thessalonians 5:18).
– For God to strengthen you to always pray for the salvation of lost souls as He wants all people to be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
– For God to help you act justly, to be merciful to people, to be humble (Micah 6:8)
– For God to help you live a sanctified life and avoid all forms of sexual immorality (1 Thessalonians 4:3).
But even those things that are not clearly spelt out in scripture like whom to marry, what course to read, who to go into a partnership with, what business to go into, the Holy Spirit can open your spirit to know what God’s will/God’s mind on those things are. 1 Corinthians 2:10 tells us that the Holy Spirit searches the deep things of God. Deep things that are not spelt out in scripture, the Holy Spirit searches them out and makes them known to us. Jeremiah 33:3 says call unto me and I will tell you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. If you search the pages of the Bible you won’t see it written directly what business you can do that will be a big success, but the Holy Spirit can guide or lead you into that deep truth (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit helps us to know what God is saying about any step we want to take. As you pray, He will point out the way you should go (Isaiah 30:21). He will give you revelations that reveal what God’s mind is about that step you want to take. John 16:13 says He will tell you what is yet to come this can be in the form of He showing you the outcome of a decision even before you have taken it. As you pray, the Spirit is receiving something from God about what you are praying about, then He communicates it to you either through a dream, vision or impression He lays on your heart, or by a direct instruction on what to do.
Acts 10:9-20 is an example of praying and the Holy Spirit revealing and guiding one into God’s mind on a particular issue. Peter prayed, His prayer was followed by a revelation, the revelation was followed by a specific or personal instruction from the Holy Spirit on what to do. Acts 8:29, Acts 9:10-11 are other examples of personal instructions from the Holy Spirit.
There are so many examples in scripture of God’s involvement in the daily affairs of people, God giving an express direction on things like where to live (Genesis 12:1), specific people to speak to, specific places to go to or not go to (Acts 16:6-8). Things haven’t changed in our time. As we pray, as we bring every aspect of our lives to God (Proverbs 16:3), God through the power of the Holy Spirit will guide us into His perfect will for our lives.
THE HOLY SPIRIT MAKES PRAYER INTERESTING BY MAKING IT A DIALOGUE NOT A MONOLOGUE
In Acts 13:1-4, the believers were praying to God. They spoke to God, God spoke back to them through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit made their prayer a conversation with God not a monologue. Prayers are more meaningful when it is a dialogue with God. Imagine what would have happened if their prayers were just one sided, no response from God. Paul and Barnabas would have remained in Antioch when God had other plans for them. As we pray, the Holy Spirit gives us instructions, directions, leadings and promptings which plant us in the centre of God’s will for our lives.
THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO PRAY PRAYERS THAT WEAKEN AND OVERCOME THE DEVIL
The Holy Spirit does this through a special prayer language the devil can’t understand. The devil doesn’t stay in one place he keeps roaming about from place to place to see and hear what is happening, what one is planning (Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8). These scriptures portray him as someone very restless. To confuse him when he comes around us, God has given us the gift of praying in tongues. When we pray in tongues, we are speaking mysteries to God the devil doesn’t understand (1 Corinthians 14:2). If you go and visit a friend and all the time your friend is speaking to another friend in a dialect you don’t understand, would you enjoy the time you spent there, would you like to keep visiting that friend who has a habit of putting you aside and talking with other people in a dialect you don’t understand? Pray in tongues to drive the devil away from you. God wants us to pray different requests, different needs, different issues about our lives in the language of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:18). By doing this, we are able to overcome the devil in every area of our lives. Praying in the spirit is a weapon of warfare.
We see from how Jesus used to relate with His disciples that God likes to sometimes talk in coded languages (Matthew 13:10-11). In our world today, speaking in codes or coded languages has proven to be an effective strategy on the battlefront, a means by which some armies/soldiers have won wars and conquered the opposing party or country. God has given you a code the devil can’t crack. What are you doing with it? How much time do you give to praying in the Spirit?
The Holy Spirit helps us to pray prayers that cause a shaking in the kingdom of darkness. When the disciples who were filled with the Holy Spirit prayed, physical things like the place where they were praying was shaking (Acts 4:29-31). If there was such a shaking in the physical realm, what do you think would have happened in the spiritual realm that day, what do you think would have happened in the kingdom of darkness that day? I believe that as the disciples prayed, what was causing that shaking was the wind of the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t a rainy day. The weather was bright and clear. But a supernatural, violent rushing wind was moving in the air, blowing where it pleases. The atmosphere was charged with the power of God. That’s the kind of powerful effect prayers led by the Spirit can cause. When we pray in the power of the Holy Spirit our prayers are not ordinary. The supernatural happens. The fire of the Holy Spirit falls and destroys certain things in the kingdom of darkness, the wind of the Holy Spirit blows and uproots things planted by the kingdom of darkness, the Wind of the Spirit scatters every meeting and plan of the kingdom of darkness.
There is so much power that comes from praying in the Spirit that is why the devil doesn’t want us to pray, and He certainly doesn’t want us to pray in the language of the Spirit.
DON’T QUENCH THE SPIRIT’S FIRE
Note that just after God says we should pray always, give thanks always, He goes on to say do not put out the Spirit’s fire (1 Thessalonians 5:17-19). When the Holy Spirit comes into us, He comes with so much power and fire as can be seen on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4). But we can quench His fire; we can keep the fire of the Holy Ghost from fully manifesting in us and through us. This happens when we:
– Don’t seek His help and direction in the place of prayer; we just do what comes to our mind or what everybody else is doing.
– Fall into the habit of not yielding to His promptings, instructions and leadings.
– Not giving Him free room to do as He wants/wills. Doing thing our own way when He’s showing us something completely different to do. Even if what He says doesn’t make sense or is outside your own plan, still obey Him.
– Committing sin and not taking time to repent of the sin before bombarding God with requests. The Holy Spirit is very sensitive, He can be grieved (Ephesians 4:30).
– Not praying regularly in the Spirit when you have the gift of speaking in tongues (2 Timothy 1:6).
– Neglecting the place of prayer. Zechariah 12:10 calls Him the Spirit of Grace and Supplication because He loves to pray. When you neglect the place of prayer, He is actually the One you are neglecting.
Just like the disciples prayed in the power of the Holy Spirit and there was a mighty shaking, today God wants you and I to pray and there will be a shaking out of everything God has not planted in our lives, families, church, nation and world at large (Hebrews 12:27). Such a shaking can’t happen if we are always too weak, tired or busy to pray, such a shaking can’t happen if we aren’t filled with the Holy Spirit. So today pray that your cup; your life that is empty of the power of God will be filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit (Psalm 23:5), and you will begin to experience the power of God like never before when you pray.
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