Creflo Dollar - From Prayer to Communion: Praying In The Spirit
To pray in the Spirit is to pray not just with our head or our mind, but with the inspiration, with the help, and with the ability of the Holy Spirit. Now lemme say that again. To pray in the Spirit is to pray not just with your head, you know, bowing your heads and praying silent, or not just with your mind. I've already established that you can do that, but praying in the Spirit is with the inspiration, is with the help, and it's with the ability of the Holy Ghost. Inspiration, the help, and the ability of the Holy Ghost.
And so, when we talk about praying in the Spirit, we're talking about the Holy Spirit being involved: inspiring, helping, you know, and his ability to pray. And so, this encompasses all true praying, whatever the form it takes, because the Bible says that we should always do our praying in the Spirit. Now, what does that mean? Go to Ephesians chapter 6:18. This is so important. All true praying, whatever the form it takes. Now, Ephesians 6:18 says, "Praying always," now this is interesting, "with all prayer and supplication praying in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints". And so, again, if we pray in the Spirit it's gonna involve the Holy Spirit helping, the Holy Spirit inspiring, and the Holy Spirit releasing his ability for us to be able to do that.
Now, look at Jude, verse 20. We mentioned this the last time that we were together. Jude, verse 20. He says, "But you, beloved, building up yourselves"... And I said to you in closing you're building yourself up spirit, soul, and body. "Building up yourselves on your most holy faith," here's what he calls your most holy faith, "praying in the Holy Ghost". Praying in the Spirit or praying in the Holy Ghost. Build yourself up. Somebody says, "Well, I feel like I'm getting a cold". Pray in the Holy Ghost. "Well, I don't feel good today. I feel sad". Pray in the Holy Ghost. Spend time praying in the Holy Ghost, praying in the Spirit. Praying in the Spirit. Always praying in the Spirit. Always building yourself.
So, I see why he recommends praying in the Spirit always, because praying in the Holy Ghost builds you up. And so, what he's trying to show us is don't cease to pray in the Spirit. Don't all of a sudden decide one day, "Well, I'm not gonna pray in the Spirit anymore," because it will build you up. I mean, at your lowest times in your life praying in the Spirit is what's gonna build you up, so there are deeper dimensions to praying in the Spirit. We talked about praying in tongues the other week, but it goes even deeper, deeper dimensions in praying in the Spirit. Look at Romans chapter 8:26. Let's examine this as we take on this today, because this is gonna be interesting. Romans 8:26. He says, "Likewise the Spirit," referring to the Holy Spirit, "also helpeth our infirmities".
Now, infirmities are weaknesses of the flesh, or it helps you to do what you can't do in your natural abilities. So, it says the Spirit is gonna help you with the weaknesses of the flesh, and then he says colon, so he's getting ready to tell you the specific weakness of the flesh that the Holy Spirit is gonna help. He says, "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth us in our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought". That's the weakness of the flesh, not knowing what you should pray for as you ought to pray for, not knowing what we should pray.
So, there are things that we don't know how to pray for it like we should pray for it, and to add a little bit more, things that we should pray for that we might not even know that we should pray for it. What if something's going on with your kid, or something's going on with a situation? You don't know that. I mean, unless somebody brings it to your attention, only then would you be able to know to pray for it. But what if it's not brought to your attention? What if it's not brought to your understanding? How do you pray for something you don't know? That would be a weakness of the flesh. You will be limited in praying if you don't know that something needs to be prayed about.
That's what he's talking here. "The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray". I don't know what I should pray about, if I don't know about it. You know, you tell me, "Well, my mother's sick. Could you pray for her"? Oh, yeah, I could pray for her 'cause she's sick, but if I didn't know she was sick I wouldn't know to pray for her. That's the weakness of the flesh he's talking about. "For we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit", It says "itself," but the Holy Spirit is not a it. He's a person. The Spirit himself maketh intercession. You intercede by praying for another. The Spirit now begins to pray and make intercession for us.
All right. So, check it out. So, I don't know what to pray for as I ought to pray, but the Spirit knows what to pray for. The Spirit knows what to pray for, and so the Spirit begins to pray for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, groanings. You ever heard of that before? He's gonna pray through groanings. I don't know what to pray for, but the Spirit will begin to activate and begin to move upon me when I'm praying. And then, all of a sudden, I pause, and I start groaning in the Spirit about something that I may not know of. Now, notice he says the Spirit maketh intercession for us. And how does he do it? With groanings.
Now, before I used to automatically assume, "Well, that just means tongues". Well, let's dig a little bit into what I refer to as the prayer of groanings, all right? Now, this kind of prayer can take the form of sobbing. This kinda prayer can take the form of weeping. The heart is so full that the expression of it takes the form of groaning and weeping, because your heart's so full of something that you might not even know of, it begins to be expressed with weeping and groanings.
So, Jesus prayed like this in Hebrews chapter 5:7. Turn there. Hebrews chapter 5:7. You remember, well, I think I'll show it to you here, but I think a lotta times we think that prayer has to be, like, articulated out loud in order for it to be prayer. I think I showed you before where in, I believe it was Psalms 5:1 that, you know, God gave attention to the meditation and called it prayer, but look at this. Jesus did this. He says, "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared". All right.
Now, notice something here, Hebrews chapter 5:7, especially the part that he offered up prayers and supplications. How? With strong crying and tears. That's groanings. That's the prayer of groanings. That his heart was so full that he offered up prayers and you're reading same thing I'm reading. He offered up prayers and supplications. How? "With strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared".
Now, this is amazing to me. I have been in times where my heart was so full of something I could not articulate what to pray for 'cause I didn't know what was going on. And as I spent time with God I'd begin to cry, and begin to groan. I'm offering up prayers. That is such a deeper dimension. That every time I did that and prayed that way, and it hadn't been like a whole lotta times, but when I did pray that way the results were almost, I mean, immediate and strong. Now, follow with me now. Some other times you are just there on your knees and no words are coming out of your lips, but there's a deep groaning going on inside, leading to kinda like intermittent sighs and noise that you make.
Now, somebody says, "What are you talking about? That's not Scripture". If you've ever been through something like this before you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't, then listen to me carefully. Now, I've gotta be able to show you scriptural reference to back up what I'm saying, or it just sounds like a bunch of weird stuff, all right? So, let's go to John chapter 11, verse 33 through 35. John chapter 11:33-35. Let's look at verse 33. In fact, I think I'm gonna read all the way down to verse 46. Pretty important. He said, "When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned", did you see that? If you haven't paid attention to it it's like you probably just read over it. He groaned in the spirit.
How do you groan in the spirit? He groaned in the spirit. He was troubled in his heart. You follow what I'm saying? And he groaned in the spirit. Go to the next, keep going. "And he said, Where have you laid him? And they said unto him, Lord, come and see. And Jesus wept". That's groaning. Jesus is groaning the whole time. Now, I always use this Scripture to poke fun at people who didn't read the Bible and say, well, the only Scripture they knew was, "Jesus wept". But when Jesus wept here, that was groaning. It was the key to this man's resurrection. While he was on the way to see where he was, the Bible says he was groaning in the spirit 'cause he was troubled in his heart, and he began to weep. That's the description I just talked to you about. That's called groan, it's a prayer of groaning in the Spirit.
"And then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!" so they thought he was weeping because, you know, like you do at funerals. You hear somebody died, and you start crying, "O Lord Jesus". Then they say, "Oh, look at him. He must've really loved him". That is not what was going on. He was in a dimension of prayer that was about to do a very miraculous thing, and he said, "And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died"? He taking care of it right now, but they don't know what's going on. He said, "Guy we've seen him open eyes. He can't do nothing about this". He is. "Jesus therefore again," watch this, "groaning in himself".
There was a time I read so over this. I remember it was a few years ago God revealed this to me, but I kept reading over this. I am telling you this is one of the deepest dimension of praying that I had ever come across. I'd never read it in books. I've never seen it, and it was like, "Man, look at this". And then, Jesus again groaning in himself coming to the grave. What was he doing? He was praying the prayer of groanings. He says and the Bible says, "It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, and saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he has been dead for four days".
Now, I just gotta pause right here. What kinda supernatural power was Jesus accessing to be able to raise a man up who had been dead for four days to the point where all kinds of stuff starts after four days. "And Jesus said unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God"? or the manifestations of God. Forty-one, "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father," watch this, "I thank thee that thou hast heard me". Well, when was he doing something to be heard? When he was groaning and weeping and shedding tears. He was praying the prayer of groanings, and then said, "Thank you that you've heard me. Thank you that you've heard me". Now, watch this. "And I knew that thou heareth me always: but because of the people which stand by I said thank you that you heard me, that they may believe that thou hast sent me". Verse 43, "And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth".
See, when you pray about something and you know that thing's been taken care of, then you loose your authority on that thing. I wanna show you how authority and prayer works together, the authority that's involved in praying. "And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. And Jesus said to them, Loose him, and let him go". I often think how did that boy get up? He was kinda wrapped like a mummy. How do you get up? It's the power God was so strong it lifted him up, I believe.
And he says, "Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, had seen the things which Jesus did, and they believed on him". They believed on him. Verse 46, "But some of them went their way to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done". Listen, I believe we're there. I believe God's revealing this revelation 'cause we're there. A lotta people are not gonna believe just 'cause we say it. A lotta people are not gonna believe just 'cause they hear me preach, but, boy, when they see the glory of God doing things that you can't figure out how they did it on the physical, in this physical world, then they're gonna go away believing.
Look at what Jesus was doing. The house of prayer became the house of power, but then here's Jesus praying in a deeper dimension of prayer that very few Christians even know about. And it would not be fair for Jesus to be able to pray this way and we can't pray this way. In fact, I'll show you in a minute that Paul prayed in groanings, and everybody that prayed in groanings got a significant amount of manifestations that came in their life. In fact, look at Luke chapter 19. Luke chapter 19, verses 28 through 46.
Luke 19:28-46. "And when he had thus spoken, he went before, ascending up to Jerusalem. And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage," Bethphage, "and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying, Go you into the village over against you; in the which at your entering you shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never a man sat: loose him, and bring him hither". So, Jesus is calling for this colt 'cause he's gonna ride in on the Palm Sunday on a colt. "And if any man ask you, Why do you loose him? Thus shall you say unto him, Because the Lord has need of him". Go ahead. "And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them".
Thirty-three, "And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord has need of him. And they brought him to Jesus: and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as he went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that he had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city," now watch this, "and he wept over it".
Now, I normally thought, "Well, there he go again crying". I thought it was a weeping Christ. He's praying. He's praying over the city, not crying over the city. He's praying, groanings, a great fullness in his heart. He wept over it. Keep going. "Saying, If thou hath known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes. For the day shall come upon thee, that thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou kneweth not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought".
Verse 46, "Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves". This is so interesting because Jesus goes in and he purifies the house. He cast all this mess out, and so the house became a house of purity. He kicked all of the junk out. And then, after the house became a house of purity it became a house of prayer. And then, when the house became a house of prayer it was able to become a house of power, a house of power.
Now, lemme say this to you. All of this started at this groanings. He began to pray and began to weep and began to groan. Then, he began to prophesy. He's being equipped for what he was getting ready to going to do, to do. He knew what was gonna happen. He talked to them about missing their day of visitation. I'm telling you, what would happen if we could get a revelation of this type of praying, the level that will lift us up? Jesus went in that city in power and discernment and prophecy and boldness, but it started right there when he saw the city and he began to weep, and he began to groan, and began to pray that prayer of groaning.
So now, the apostle Paul also had a similar experience. Look at this in the book of Galatians chapter 4:19. Galatians chapter 4:19. This is awesome. Look at verse 19. "My little children, of whom I travail", underline that word "travail". "I travail in birth again until Christ be found," or formed, "in you". "My little children, I travail," so the apostle Paul had this experience, travailing in prayer. I've heard the term. Now I understand what it means. It's like travail in birth, all right? So, if you travail in prayer, what's going on when you're travailing in birth?
I'm telling you, you can hardly find the words. If you've ever had the opportunity to see a child born, that travailing in birth, it's a lot of groaning and crying that's involved. And Paul was describing a lotta groaning and crying that was involved when he began to pray, and he described that type of prayer as travailing. He says, "My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed into you". He was describing the same kinda prayer that produced these miracles in the life of Jesus. Hallelujah.