Deeper Dimensions to Praying in the Spirit

May. 23, 2018 | By Creflo Dollar


In our prayer lives, praying in the Holy Spirit takes us to a deeper spiritual level than praying in our own language ever could. Praying in tongues bypasses our intellectual understanding, and brings us to the point where we must rely on inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Many churches do not teach about tongues because they do not understand it, but this is where the deeper manifestations of God begin. When we pray in this manner, not only are we depending on the Spirit to give us utterance, but we are also building up our spirits, our souls, and our physical bodies. In the New Testament we see Jesus, Himself, praying in the Holy Spirit during His most difficult and painful times. Groaning in the Spirit is one of the most powerful things Christians can do when we feel the need to pray but we do not know the right words. If we want to change the world, we begin by praying with groanings too deep for words in order to receive power from the Holy Spirit to successfully do so.
  1. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we are depending on Him and Him, alone.
    1. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints (Ephesians 6:18, NKJV).
      1. Praying in the Spirit is the equivalent of praying in tongues. It requires our reliance on the ability and inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
      2. For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful (1 Corinthians 14:14).
    2. But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20, NKJV).
      1. “Praying in the Holy Spirit” is praying in tongues.
    3. But you, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20, AMPC).
      1. We make progress when we pray in the spirit.
      2. When we pray, we must not make our prayers legalistic by thinking we must pray at a certain time and a specific amount of time each day. We can instead pray whenever we are led to pray.
  1. Praying in the Spirit allows God to take us beyond our limitations and weaknesses.
    1. 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 (Romans 8:26).
      1. Infirmities are weaknesses of the flesh and things that limit us. One of these infirmities is our lack of knowledge of specifically what to pray.
    2. So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid  and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer  nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication  and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance(Romans 8:26, AMPC).
      1. In this type of prayer, there is no articulate speech. We are speaking a language we do not know.
    3. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans (Romans 8:26, MSG).
      1. Praying in the Spirit can take the form of sobbing and weeping, because the heart is so full of compassion.
  1. Jesus prayed often. He prayed in the Spirit during difficult or painful times.
    1. 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(Hebrews 5:7).
      1. Even Jesus prayed in tongues; He expressed Himself in prayer through groaning and weeping.
    2. In the days of His flesh [Jesus] offered up definite, special petitions [for that which He not only wanted but needed] and supplications with strong crying and tears to Him Who was [always] able to save Him [out] from death, and He was heard because of His reverence toward God [His godly fear, His piety, in that He shrank from the horrors of separation from the bright presence of the Father] (Hebrews 5:7, AMPC).
      1. During one of His most tormented of times, in the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus fervently prayed to the Father.
    3. While he lived on earth, anticipating death, Jesus cried out in pain and wept in sorrow as he offered up priestly prayers to God. Because he honored God, God answered him (Hebrews 5:7, MSG).
      1. This is the type of prayer God answers. Jesus was not simply crying, He was praying.
  1. Both Jesus and the apostle Paul prayerfully wept with compassion for others.
    1. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled. And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! 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? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. 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, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.  And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done (John 11:33-46).
      1. The Jews wept because Lazarus had died; their motives for weeping were different than Jesus’ motives. When Jesus saw them, He began praying in the Spirit.
      2. Jesus was troubled, and His prayers went beyond religious praying. Likewise, when we encounter trouble, our prayers take on a deeper meaning than what religion can impart.
      3. Jesus did not weep because Lazarus died; His weeping was a prayer to God for a response to the situation.
      4. God heard Jesus’ prayer when Jesus was groaning in the Spirit, but the only thing the onlookers heard was Jesus crying.
    2. 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 and Bethany, at the mount called the mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, Saying, Go ye into the village over against you; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat: loose him, and bring him hither. And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath 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 they 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, and wept over it, Saying, If thou hadst 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 days shall come upon thee, that thine 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 knewest 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; Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves (Luke 19:28-46).
      1. Jesus weeping as He entered the city was another example of Him praying in the Spirit.
      2. When He entered the temple and cast out the money-changers, He did so under the power of God after He prayed in the Spirit.
    3. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you (Galatians 4:19).
      1. Paul travailed in prayer with much crying and groaning because of love for his Jewish brethren who did not know Christ.
  1. Praying in the Holy Spirit is a powerful spiritual tool to empower us for success.
    1. I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh (Romans 9:1-3).
      1. Paul was referring to his great compassion for the Romans, and the heaviness in his heart because he wanted to see them get born again.
      2. We can change the world by first praying in the Spirit. The place of prayer is always the place of success; prayer is the foundation for every successful endeavor in life.
    2. When Jesus saw her sobbing and the Jews with her sobbing, a deep anger welled up within him. He said, “Where did you put him?” “Master, come and see,” they said. Now Jesus wept. The Jews said, “Look how deeply he loved him.” Others among them said, “Well, if he loved him so much, why didn’t he do something to keep him from dying? After all, he opened the eyes of a blind man.” Then Jesus, the anger again welling up within him, arrived at the tomb. It was a simple cave in the hillside with a slab of stone laid against it. Jesus said, “Remove the stone.” The sister of the dead man, Martha, said, “Master, by this time there’s a stench. He’s been dead four days!” Jesus looked her in the eye. “Didn’t I tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” Then, to the others, “Go ahead, take away the stone.” They removed the stone. Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and prayed, “Father, I’m grateful that you have listened to me. I know you always do listen, but on account of this crowd standing here I’ve spoken so that they might believe that you sent me” (John 11:33-42, MSG).
      1. We must not misinterpret this passage in other translations. Jesus was not simply crying or weeping because He was troubled; He was praying.
    3. Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good (Romans 8:26-28, MSG).
      1. The enemy is trying hard to hide from us just how effective and powerful praying in the Spirit really is.
      2. Making the prayer of groaning a part of our Christian lives will take us to a level in which we have never walked before.
      3. Praying in the Spirit is all about breakthrough.

Scripture References

Ephesians 6:18, NKJV

1 Corinthians 14:14

Jude 1:20, NKJV

Jude 1:20, AMPC

Romans 8:26

Romans 8:26, AMPC

Romans 8:26, MSG

Hebrews 5:7

Hebrews 5:7, AMPC

Hebrews 5:7, MSG

John 11:33-46


Galatians 4:19

Romans 9:1-3

John 11:33-42, MSG

Romans 8:26-28, MSG

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