Prayer is not meant to be perfunctory, but powered by the Holy Spirit. When I am preoccupied and attempt to pray, I short circuit the Spirit’s work. However, when I pray in the Spirit with my mind engaged and my heart fully focused, there is full contact with Christ. The flesh seeks a quick fix, but the Spirit desires deep affection that develops over time. Spiritual prayers flow from praise and worship to Almighty God. He receives the prayer aroma of His daughters and sons as the sweet aroma of a holy sacrifice to Him alone. The Holy Spirit is our prayer whisperer.
Prayers for justice in this life may not be answered until the next life. Like the distinct aroma of incense, the prayers of God’s people flow up into the nostrils of God. The altar normally designed for mercy is repurposed for justice. As the prayers of the saints in heaven ascend to the Lord, the Lord’s judgment descends on the earth and its inhabitants. Without consequences for evil, grace and mercy lose their luster. Yes, prayer and faith facilitate God’s purposes into action.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).
Pray on all occasions. With bowed head recognize Jesus as the provider of a delicious meal. Before you partake of the tasty morsels, taste His grace. Pray and prepare your heart prior to a hard conversation, so any anger or harshness is replaced by patience and compassion. Pray as you think about a big decision; ask questions like, “Is my motive to glorify God?” “What counsel would I give to someone else in a similar situation?” Spiritual prayers have the Spirit’s leading.
Variety is the spice of an effective prayer life. Employ a plethora of prayers that protect you from familiarity that can breed boredom. Pray for patience, so you are slow to anger. Pray for the sick, so they might be healed. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel, so the seeds of salvation will grow in the hearts of lost souls. Pray for those who suffer, so their comfort comes from Christ. Pray for forgiveness, so your heart is healed and filled with the Holy Spirit!
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being” (Ephesians 3:16).