For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind...
Thoughts for Today:A long time ago, when my niece Bailey and nephew David, first started visiting us, they giggled at prayer time. They thought we were funny when we bowed our heads and prayed -- whether it was before we went fishing, after a plane trip, or just before we ate. But they got used to it. I think they figured out that when they were with Uncle Mike and Aunt Sherry, prayer was going to be a central part of what we did. Just like reading the Bible every day.
One summer morning, while vacationing together in Idaho, we were in a rush to get an early start on the lake. We sat down to eat a hurried breakfast, and as I stuffed a big bite of eggs into my mouth, I looked across the table to see David sitting there with his head bowed and eyes closed, patiently waiting for me to pray. Oops! I said, "David, would you mind praying for us this morning?" David said, "Sure Uncle Mike, but I don't know how." I said, "It's really easy, talk to God about what's on your mind, and then thank Him for everything that you're grateful." David prayed a simple yet heartfelt prayer. When he was finished, David asked, "How was that?" I answered, "Perfect. I'm sure God was very pleased. He loves each of us so much and He wants to have a relationship with us. But He won't make us. We have to choose to go to Him, and prayer is the first step." Later that same day, David made a choice to make Jesus Christ his personal Lord and Savior. It was truly a joyous experience for all of us.
Like my nephew David, I come across a lot of believers who still get caught up in the right way to pray. It's as if there is some sort of magic formula -- especially when talking about praying with our spirit. They expect someone to lay hands on them, perhaps they would then begin to shake and quiver, before falling down and jerking around on the floor like a fish out of water. Is that the way we are to speak in tongues and pray in the spirit? Some people think so, but I don't -- and I certainly don't find much Scriptural support for it.
In our passage today, Paul gives us clear instructions regarding how to pray both with our mind and our spirit. It's an act of the will -- that is our will. We pray in the Spirit when we say, "I don't know how to pray with understanding about this, so I'm going to pray in my spirit with the help of the Holy Spirit." He will make intercessions for us -- and our spirit is edified. The great news is this prayer language is available to anyone who believes. How? By choice.
Questions to Ponder:Years ago David made a choice to believe and his life was transformed by a simple prayer. God heard him and responded. Are you having difficultly praying or even knowing what to pray for? God has given us His Spirit and His prayer language to help us transcend the barrier of our mortality. Will you take advantage of this gift right now? How? By our choice to do so!