Romans 8:26

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Ephesians 6:18

“…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—”

Jude 1:20-21

“But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit,  keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”



Spirit Fall, by Chris Tomlin

Listen to this song and pray the words over yourself before you begin your lesson. 

“…Like a mighty wind, light the fire again. Come and breath your breath on me…”. There is an opportunity to be filled fresh with the Holy Spirit. And it is good and right for us to want and ask for that. 

(Contributor OGS)


Lesson:  Praying in the Spirit

There is much that has been written and spoken on the subject of prayer by many devout and scholarly saints.  And, as I began preparing for this meager offering, I felt woefully inadequate to make any worthy attempt to address it.  I can’t even say that my personal prayer life is a good example of pious dedication. I’ve often experienced seasons of prayerlessness, though these have been used by God to draw me and make me hungry for His presence.  What I can tell you is that my experience of prayer has been rich and varied. As both a discipline and a grace, the labor and art of prayer has been a school of instruction and challenge, a source of delight and compassion, and a journey of victory and transformation.

[By way of clarification regarding this lesson:  Capital “S” Spirit is the Spirit of God and lower case “s” spirit is a man’s spirit.]  

Prayer is our connection and communication with the Triune God. We pray to the Father in the name of the Son through the power of the Spirit.  Because God is Spirit, communication with God happens by the Spirit. So, it seems that all prayer is actually a spiritual happening. Remember, “I am a spirit; I have a soul; I live in a body.”  A healthy child of God (in whom the Spirit of God dwells) lives life with the spirit informing the soul to make choices according to the will of God. (Matt 26:41)  Prayer is our entrance into His presence.  It can be simply a breath, a sigh. Or, it can be as eloquent as  the song of Mary, often called the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55).

I have long made a practice of journaling my prayers.  Through this exercise, I’ve come to see that my prayer life is a dialogue.  It is a mysterious two-way communication that happens as I give voice to my thoughts and feelings and believe that He hears me.  I pray to the Father, and as I pray, His Spirit speaks to me. Sometimes I don’t realize that He has spoken until I go back and read my journal.  Another practice I employ is the praying of Scripture. When I don’t know how to pray or what to pray, I turn to the Psalms and let the inspired prayer of the psalmist become my voice.  This is especially helpful to me when I feel prayerless. It often has helped get me through a dry spell and reveal an oasis in the desert where I can bathe, wash and refresh in the restorative, redemptive Word of God.

I should also say that when I don’t know what or how to pray, praying in the spirit (with my prayer language) has often enlightened my mind to pray with understanding.

Romans 8:26 indicates that it is the Spirit of God in us who gives us prayers to pray, and sometimes those prayers are without words.  According to 1 Corinthians 14:15 there is praying with understanding and also praying with the spirit.   When we pray in the spirit, as in with tongues not our own, the communication is entirely spiritual and does not impact our mind or reasoning.  It may, however, be interpreted in our own tongue and give edification to the mind, the soul. Paul indicates that it is good to do both. Even if we do not intellectually understand prayers in the spirit, we are being built up and edified by these prayers.  However, Paul tells us in 1 Cor 14 that when we pray in the spirit we should also pray for interpretation so that our mind can be fruitful.   

I do not want to infer that everyone should speak with the gift of tongues (other languages not known intellectually); however, my own experience is that there is strength, encouragement and help I receive from the Spirit when I pray with the prayer language He gives me.  I am confident that whether or not my understanding is fruitful on the matter, I have prayed the will of God, and my soul prospers in peace.

Whether you have received the gift of a prayer language or not, your prayer life is a spiritual one because you are communicating with the invisible, immutable God.  I encourage you, as I encourage myself, to seek an active and fruitful life of prayer, including being filled with the Holy Spirit. It is the primary way that we benefit from belonging to Him and abiding with Him.

(Contributor Dani Williams)



Read the following scriptures and journal what you learn about prayer and the Holy Spirit:

Matthew 26:41

Acts 4:31

Acts 8:14-16 

Romans 1:8-10

Romans 8:26

I Corinthians 14:13-15

Ephesians 6:17-18

Colossians 1:8-10

Jude 20-21

Write out Psalm 100 in your own words.  Notice the progression.  How do we enter?  

Make a list of people you are praying for.  Keep a record of your prayers for one week. Record answered prayer and share this praise with your accountability partner.  

(Contributor Dani Williams)


Word study, Resources, Tools:

Recommended reading:

Prayer, by Richard Foster 

A Short Method of Prayer, by Madame Guyon

Praying God’s Word, by Beth Moore 

ACTS:  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication, is a good model for prayer that I learned from my father.  It is a procession that makes way for bold intercession.

(Contributor Dani Williams)


Life Application:

Who in your life needs a victory, a transformation, or healing?  Are you praying for them consistently? Consider keeping a prayer journal and writing a list in the back of those you are praying for.  Keep a record of answered prayer. This may seem overly studious or even academic, but having a documented journey helps us remember how the Lord has led us.  It becomes a record of His work for His glory.

If you have a prayer language, consider intentionally praying in the spirit, even briefly, more often.  

If you do not have a prayer language consider partnering with someone to pray and fast to receive this gift.  It isn’t required for your salvation, but it is a gift He offers you that will enhance your experience and cause you to thrive. 

(Contributor Dani Williams)