in the school of prayer - lesson seven

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"The Father can bestow no higher or more wonderful gift than this:  His own Holy Spirit, the Spirit of sonship."

Is there any thought more amazing than this?  That the Living God sends His own Spirit, His own animating Life and Presence to dwell inside us and lead us in His ways?   That not only does He speak with us and instruct us, but He lives in us, right here with us each step along the way.  It is an inexpressible mercy.

Just think of the names He bears.  The Spirit of grace, to reveal and impart all of grace there is in Jesus.  The Spirit of faith, teaching us to begin and go on and increase in ever believing.  The Spirit of adoption and assurance, who witnesses that we are God’s children, and inspires the confiding and confident Abba, Father!  The Spirit of truth, to lead into all truth, to make each word of God ours in deed and in truth.  The Spirit of prayer, through whom we speak with the Father; prayer that must be heard.  The Spirit of judgment and burning, to search the heart, and convince of sin.  The Spirit of holiness, manifesting and communicating the Father’s holy presence within us.  The Spirit of power, through whom we are strong to testify boldly and work effectually in the Father’s service.  The Spirit of glory, the pledge of our inheritance, the preparation and the foretaste of the glory to come.  Surely the child of God needs but one thing to be able really to live as a child:  it is, to be filled with this Spirit.    (emphasis mine)

And all this, Jesus tells us, the Father is longing to give to us. 

I've written about this before, but I learned a lot about the power of the indwelling Spirit and prayer when our son was much younger and having such a difficult time controlling his anger.    After a long day at school he would go into terrible rages at home, often taking his pent up frustration out on the smaller children.  So many times I didn't know what to do to help him calm down or to keep everyone safe.  His rages were unpredictable and his reactions to my intervention changed daily.   But the Lord knew exactly what to do every time.  He knows the inside of my son as intimately as He knows me.  So I learned to pray one minute at a time, "Lord, what should I say now?  What should I do now?"  And the Lord answered me one minute at a time.  There was no audible voice, but there was a Voice that spoke quite clearly to me in my spirit.  I cried out to Him in my helplessness and He answered me.  He showed me how to respond to anger with gentleness.  He gave me power to embrace when I wanted to push away.  Step by step, one painful day at a time,  He was teaching me the meaning of His love and transforming me from the inside out.

God Himself dwells in us. 

When we come into His presence in prayer, He is waiting to give us infinitely more of Himself.  Again, we find that prayer is not about a discipline we do to please God, but a yielding of ourselves to receive more of Him.

And when once we have learned thus to believe for ourselves, and each day to take out of the treasure we hold in heaven, what liberty and power to pray for the outpouring of the Spirit on the Church of God, on all flesh, on individuals, or on special efforts!  He that has once learned to know the Father in prayer for himself, learns to pray most confidently for others too.  The Father gives the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him, not least, but most, when they ask for others.

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Dear Lord,

It is with joy that I come today, full of the knowledge that You are here now and long to give us more of Yourself each moment.  Lord, with You nothing is impossible...and You, Yourself, are with us.  Give us more of You each day; every time we come to You in prayer, give us more.

For the needs of today we ask Your infilling provision.  Where patience is needed, give grace.  Where strength is needed, give Your power.  Where comfort is needed, give assurance.  Where honesty is needed, give Your truth.  Where we find temptation, give Your righteousness.  For the need of every moment, we find the answer in You.

Thank You, Lord, for Your indescribable gift.   Draw us into Your presence, make us hungry for more. 

In the precious name of Jesus,

amen.

 

Next week I'll be sharing my thoughts on Chapter Eight - Because of his importunity...or The Boldness of God's Friends