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Handout - Praying With the Spirit

Handout - Praying With the Spirit

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Handout - Praying With the Spirit
Handout - Praying With the Spirit

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Published by: South West Community Church on Nov 06, 2010
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Tabor Alive
Praying with the Spirit
Dr Barry Chant
As part of theMinistry of the Spirit class at Tabor College, students are invited to commit
themselves to pray with the spirit1 for ten minutes a day for five days a week for one semester.
There have been some remarkable testimonies. Here is a brief report on a few of them (names
have been changed)
Andrew said, 'At the beginning I found the devotional time very difficult. Between putting it off
until later and completely forgetting, then feeling guilty because I knew God deserved all the
praise I could ever give him plus much more. But half way through the term I was baptised in
the Spirit. I am greatly encouraged and strengthened. My confidence and faith has increased.'
Sally wrote, 'I have been spurred on by speaking in tongues in my daily life and have seen the
fruits. Each time, this experience 'centred' me. It focused me back to Jesus and to his power.
Although I was baptised in the Spirit around fifteen years ago, in most recent years, I admit that
I have not practised speaking in tongues as often as I used to. I have been in awe at how
immediately I can see God in each situation as I pray in tongues and how self-centredness
evaporates and God-centeredness takes over. I have again been reminded that the 'connection'
to heaven is astounding (as when I first had this experience) and I want to keep this zeal.'
Jane told how she had many blocks to overcome and could not do the exercise until her fears
were resolved. 'The days I least felt like praying in tongues,' she said, 'were the times I most
needed it and from this I learned the value of discipline and not giving in to moods or
emotions.' She had entered a 'new dimension in growth.'
Maureen was a practical person. She would put a timer next to her bed at night set for ten
minutes and prayed with the spirit for this time. She lost the problems she had previously
experienced with disturbed sleep.
Kay found she would often feel prompted by the Spirit to pray in her mind for a particular
person, situation or event. Then she found that during the day she was 'drawn to the Spirit's
voice.' Because it was now more clear she was able to listen, discern and act upon it.
Many students reported a greater peace and contentment as a result. Michael claimed that the
amount of joy and peace he felt were proportional to the time he spent praying in tongues. The
problem was that, as with any prayer, ten minutes was inadequate.It is only after half an hour,'
he reported, 'that I can start feeling really close to God.'
Lorraine noted that on a few occasions, especially when she did not feel like praying, she had a
sense of God's love, majesty and greatness. She struggled to find the words to describe how she
felt.When times have been tough,‟ she said, 'just praising God, even when I do not know what
I am saying or I don't know what to say, has given me a sense of peace and knowledge that God
is in control of every situation.'
Even those who had been walking in the Spirit for many years found the exercise challenging.
Ben had been praying in tongues for over a decade and did not think he would find the exercise
difficult or unusual. He enjoyed praying in tongues and had used it a great deal in his personal
prayer life but without any deliberate or intentional setting aside of time just to pray in tongues.
But, within the first few days of beginning this prayer exercise, I found myself confronted with
a terrible thing: my own lack of prayerfulness. It came as a shock to me to realise that
deliberately setting aside ten minutes to pray in tongues was far more difficult than I imagined
it would be. I've had to humble myself before the Lord and call upon him in a new and fresh
way.'
The discipline of praying regularly with the Spirit was illustrated by Andrew's comment that
initially he found the exercise difficult because he thought that much of what he was doing was
'in the flesh.' However looking back he wrote,I can see the benefits and I intend on continuing
in my own devotions. It was like putting my faith into action as I spoke aloud and I was able to
sense the presence of God in my life in a more tangible way.‟
Surprising and profound
Beverley felt uncomfortable and embarrassed when she first began to speak in tongues. She
admitted this to God and told him she was willing to do it anyway. Since then, she reported, 'the
value of praying with the spirit has been both surprising and profound.' The results included
peace, calmness, spiritual insight, spiritual growth, greater intimacy with Jesus, more effective
prayer and a positive change in her general temperament, after a bout of sickness. Colin was
delighted with the benefits, 'Firstly,' he said without any qualification, 'it revolutionised my
prayer life. He found a greater appreciation of the character and nature of God and saw
intercessions for others being answered in a significant way. He gained new insights into
Scripture, witnessed more effectively and became bolder in exercising other spiritual gifts.
Lorene reported 'an overwhelming feeling of contentment' - the Lord was so close she felt as if
she could reach out and touch him. Interestingly, while she was praying with the spirit, she
found her mind actually became clearer and her praying more purposeful.
Matt stated that God's loving kindness was more real to him and that praying in tongues
strengthened him in times of spiritual warfare.
Gary realised he had been used to feeding his flesh, but not his spirit. This exercise redressed
the balance and while he prayed in tongues, God opened his eyes relating to his lifestyle. He
also felt a greater compassion for the needy.
Morris recalled how he had always found it hard to join in with singing with the spirit in his
church, but now he could do so enthusiastically. He no longer felt 'left out.'
Ivan struggled with the normal doubts - 'is it just me making it up?' - and distractions, but when
he actually undertook this exercise, 'somehow' his will was under control and he was better able

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