Did you realize that praying and giving up are exact opposites? We need more praying-through, as the old-timers used to call it. This is where people get desperate to pray until they hear from God and get the release. It may involve fasting. You do what Jacob did when he wrestled with the angel until he and his name were both changed. He said in Gen. 32: 26 - “I won’t let you go until you bless me.” He was desperate. His brother Esau was coming to kill him. It’s easy to pray with total abandonment when you know that. When Jacob knew that his brother was coming with an army, he had two choices. He could either quit and run for his life, or pray through and hear from God. When the angel blessed him and he knew that God had heard him, a gift of faith came. Then he knew he was delivered from his brother’s anger.
One of the ways to really pray through is to pray in The Spirit. This kind of praying was common in the first-century church. It is no wonder that they operated in such power. Rom. 8:26-27 says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. In 1 Cor. 14:18 the Apostle Paul says, “ I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all": 1 Cor. 14:2 says, “For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.”
Praying in The Holy Ghost builds faith and energizes you! Jude 1:20 says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith praying in the Holy Ghost.” God doesn’t talk to your head, but your heart. He doesn’t live in your head. He comes into your heart, or your spirit, to dwell. You speak out of your spirit when you pray in tongues, not out of your head. It is also good to pray that you might interpret your prayers in tongues.
The mind will always say, “This is silly. You are accomplishing nothing. I’m bored. Feed me. I don’t know what you are saying.” Your mind has a voice, but you need to tell that voice to “shut up”. Many don’t even realize they are spirit beings. They are used to being carnal ruled.
I had a wonderful man of God as a teacher at Rhema Bible Training Center, by the name of Kenneth Hagin. He told us of the time in early ministry where he felt the need to discipline himself to pray many hours in the spirit. When he began, he looked at his watch and thought hours had gone by. However, he discovered that only about five minutes had gone by. He stuck with it until he was praying for several hours a day, in other tongues. Eventually, those hours seemed like only minutes. In this busy world, we seem to take time for everything else but this, and we wonder why our spiritual batteries get run down and we have no strength.
Praying in the Spirit with other tongues serves multiple purposes. It is good for the prayer of intercession. Intercession means one who takes the place of another. It means to act between two parties with a thought of reconciling the two of them. It is very good for interceding for the lost, or backslider. When you pray like that, you can even feel lost yourself.
The Bible speaks of groanings, but we have lost a lot of that in the church. It is seldom spoken of. This is one reason more aren’t being saved. It is also a good way to pray for people who are sick. Can you see that those who don’t have the baptism of the Holy Ghost are really missing something, especially in this area of prayer? The Holy Spirit is searching for those who will give themselves to this kind of praying. But many times He searches through entire church congregations and can’t find anyone to yield to Him and give themselves to prayer.
We all need to pray in other tongues. It is sad that many Christians, who are baptized in the Holy Spirit, spend such a small amount of time praying in the Spirit. Your ability to persist in obedience is directly related to your ability to pray through. No human mind, no matter how brilliant, can know all the mysterious answers to big problems. But God can. and will, help us to pray about things we don’t know what to pray for, or how to pray for them. I just heard a testimony this week about a missionary in Africa. He was supported by a church in Minneapolis, Minn. He came back to the church and gave this testimony. He was from a nation that is half Muslim and half Christian. He started many orphanages on the Christian side but felt that God wanted him to build some on the Muslim side. He knew that he was risking his life but obeyed. As he drove into the highly Muslim populated city, he was surrounded by some angry men with weapons. Instead of killing him, he noticed that their eyes got big as they backed away. He found out that they reported seeing twenty-seven men surrounding his car. As this man was giving this testimony, a man in Minneapolis stood up, with tears streaming down his face. He said, “ I am sorry to interrupt you, but on the day you said this happened, we felt led to pray for you, here in Minneapolis. I want the men who were at the prayer meeting to stand up now. There were exactly twenty-seven men who stood. They were praying in The Holy Spirit that day and God answered each individual prayer.
It is interesting that it costs nothing buy time to pray. Yet, many times our problems involve finances. If we would pray, we would see a break-through in that area. The Bible says that all things are possible to those who believe God. When we pray with the help of the Holy Spirit, He will search the mind and will of God and help us pray according to God’s will. John wrote, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that f 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 what we asked of him. (1 John 5:14-15)
It is interesting that the Apostle Paul wrote, in 2 Cor. 12:12 “ Truly the signs of an apostle were accomplished among you with all perseverance, in signs and wonders and mighty deeds.” He is the same guy who also wrote “I thank my God that I pray in tongues more than you all”. We need to start doing what Paul did. We can do it in bed or on a couch or on a walk. It’s an easy, relaxing thing that enables us to cast our cares on God. It is also a wonderful way to bless God, love on Him, and truly worship Him. It would be good to fight our battles in the spiritual arena before we even begin our day. Have you noticed that Satan has a way of getting us out of the arena of peace to prevail over us? He can’t defeat a church that stays in unity. First, he has to get the church out of peace and into strife. He wins when he fights a Christian on his own turf, outside the arena of God’s peace. The Bible says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet": Rom. 16:20. We can get into that peace by praying through. If we pray a lot in the spirit, early in the morning, we are going to begin our day in the arena of God’s peace. We can defeat the devil’s attacks and strategies. Instead of this, we often think we have to defeat the problems before we can have peace. That is deception.
We need to have regular fellowship with God each morning. Even as a pastor, I have to remind myself of that. It’s only by spending time with Him that we hear from Him and He hears us. Then He gives us an assurance of peace in our hearts and we obey Him. We don’t dare wait for a crisis to develop like Jacob, before we pray through. We need to do it before the crises comes. We are all saddled with responsibilities for the day. We need to have peace before. Then we will not be rubbed raw by the friction of the day’s stresses. The devil will try to bait us to come out of the place of peace. We must refuse.
We don’t have to quit. The enemy may have us surrounded with a lot of foes. The situation can look hopeless and in the devil’s favor. He may be at your door demanding that you sign a document of surrender, but you need to stop and pray through.