Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Pray in the Spirit

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God (Rom 8:26-27). 
15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also (1 Cor 14:15). 
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints (Eph 6:18). 
19 It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. 20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 19-20).

One way that cessationists insulate their position from evidential falsification is to partition prayer from the spiritual gifts. They make allowance for miraculous answers to prayer, but drive a wedge between answered prayer and the spiritual gifts. 

But a basic problem with that disjunction is that Paul (as well as Jude) regards Christian prayer as prayer that's informed or empowered by the Spirit. When Christians prayer, the Spirit is at work in our minds and hearts. So it's a false dichotomy to compartmentalized prayer in isolation to the charismata. In the pneumatology of Paul and Jude, the ability to offer genuine Christian prayer is as much a spiritual gift as the other charismata. The agency of the Spirit is necessary in each instance. 


  1. In my blogpost The Full Deity of the Holy Spirit I wrote the following:

    The Holy Spirit helps us to pray: Zech. 12:10; Rom. 8:15; Jude 1:20; Gal. 4:6; Eph. 6:18; 2:18; Phil. 1:19 [Possibly also Rom. 8:26; Matt. 10:20]

    I would also include indirect supportive verses like the following:

    And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.- Mark 13:11

    for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”- Luke 12:12

    for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.- Luke 21:15

  2. Cessationism is more about sign and wonders gifts, so I'm not sure what this post is trying to get at. Is it trying to go after a straw man?

    1. The whole point of the post is that sealing off signs and wonders from prayer is artificial. I'm not sure how you could miss that.