Praying By the Holy Spirit

“I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life;
who proceedeth from the Father and the Son;
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and glorified;
who spake by the prophets.”

In Scripture it is made clear that the Father is the object of our praying. But it is equally clear that we are able to call upon the Father only because of the Spirit of adoption who brings us into the relationship with the Father. Paul writes:

“For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him” (Romans 8:14-17).

It is the Holy Spirit who gives us the freedom and confidence to approach the Father’s throne.

The Holy Spirit has been described as “the shy member of the Trinity.” This is not because he is somehow a lesser part of the Godhead. Rather, it seems that the Holy Spirit constantly points us to the Father and the Son rather than Himself. He is the means of regeneration by which we become children of the Father. Also, the Spirit seems to take particular joy in glorifying the Son (Jn 15:26; 16:14).

We also know that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter who is just like Jesus. He dwells within the hearts of God’s people (Jn 14:17). He is the Counselor who leads us into the truth (Jn 16:13). He is the One who convicts of sin (Jn 16:7-11). The Holy Spirit is also the agent of inspiration by which the Word of God was inscripturated (2 Peter 1:19-21).

Additionally, the Holy Spirit plays a vital role in our praying. Paul writes:
“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. 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” (Romans 8:26-27).

When it comes to knowing how and for what we should pray we must be taught. The Spirit is the agent of the Godhead who teaches us to pray. What is more, like Jesus, the Spirit intercedes for us. Imagine it. In the courts of heaven we have the blessing of both the Son’s and Spirit’s intercession on our behalf. Once again we see the beautiful mystery of God’s Trinitarian nature being revealed through the means of prayer. Tim Chester writes:

“True prayer is thoroughly Trinitarian and can only be Trinitarian. The Father invites us to call upon Him through the Son by the Spirit…The Father is the one to whom we pray and who graciously hears our prayers. The Son is the one who mediates, giving us access to the Father. The Spirit is the one who enables us to pray, disposing us to pray to God where once we were hostile towards him.”