There is a connection in the Bible between the Holy Spirit and prayer. Prayer is one of the most important activities that a Christian can engage in, and yet many believers find it to be a difficult practice.
When our prayer life is filled with the Holy Spirit it takes on a whole new dimension. Let’s look at some ways that the Holy Spirit is connected to prayer:
1. The Holy Spirit is Attracted to Prayer
We see several times in the Bible where the Holy Spirit moves and comes upon people in the context of prayer. When the early church was waiting for the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the Scripture says that they “continued with one accord in prayer and supplication” (Acts 1:14). They were not just waiting passively; they were praying passionately- and then they were filled with the Spirit.
Look also at Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” The church was beginning to experience persecution and so they came together to pray. As a result, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and had a fresh boldness to declare God’s Word.
Even in the case of Jesus being anointed with the Spirit for His ministry there is a connection to prayer. In Luke’s version it says: “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him” (Luke 3:21-22). We often miss that Jesus was praying when the Holy Spirit came upon Him.
An atmosphere of prayer attracts the presence of the Holy Spirit. To be a Spirit-filled believer you must be a praying believer. To be a Spirit-filled church you must be a praying church.
2. The Holy Spirit Empowers us to Pray
Not only is the Holy Spirit attracted to prayer, He also empowers us to pray. Look at Romans 8:26-27: “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. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.”
We do not always know what to pray for, but the Holy Spirit will lead us and empower us to pray according to God’s will. This includes, but is not limited to, praying in tongues by the Spirit’s power. Praying in tongues can be a powerful weapon of prayer and the Lord can use it to pray through us what He desires to pray.
We also must wait on the Lord and allow Him to lead us and direct us in prayer. Too often we come to Him in prayer and we simply go through our “laundry list” of requests. While there is nothing wrong with bringing our requests to God, we must also allow the Spirit to lead us in what to pray. I have personally found this to be one of the hardest parts of prayer; just waiting on the Lord in silence. But I have also found this to be the most rewarding part of prayer, as this is when the Lord reveals Himself to me the most.
Let us become a people of prayer who seek the face of God and call upon Him. Let us cultivate a lifestyle of Spirit-empowered prayer. As it says in Jude vs. 20, let us build ourselves up in the faith, praying in the Holy Spirit!