Praying in the Spirit

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Duration 6 Weeks

With the resurrection of Jesus, we talk about everything changing. The new life that is ours, the forgiveness that we experience, the victory over death and the entrance into the Kingdom of God. Alleluia! He is Risen, Indeed. But how does that impact my day-to-day life? How can I experience that Easter Living today? The answer is to pray with the power of the Holy Spirit. Of all the miracles and teaching that Jesus ever did, the only one that His disciples asked Him to teach them was how to pray. From that time on, the Lord’s Prayer has become not only a prayer to recite but the form that our individual prayers should emulate. Luther’s Small Catechism gives us guidance on why this prayer is important and what it means. But more than reciting a prayer by heart, the power of prayer comes from the gift and presence of the Holy Spirit, perhaps the most neglected member of the Trinity. During this Resurrection Season, we will explore how prayer and the Holy Spirit come together to give us the power for Easter Living.

Week 6 • How Does the Holy Spirit Change Me?

Galatians 5:16-18, 22-25 (NRSV); Luke 1:46-55 (NRSV)
The work of the Holy Spirit is dynamic. She activates the Word of God in our hearts and transforms our inward thoughts and outward actions. The Holy Spirit empowers us in our callings in life, in our professions, our relationships, and mission. On this day of celebrating the calling of motherhood, we remember the revolutionary proclamation and world-changing obedience of Mary, the mother of Jesus as she praises Him in the Magnificat. It was the Holy Spirit who gave her the faith, the power, and the boldness to sing and bear the Son of the Most High God who would cause the rise and fall of many in Israel, and would pierce her own soul too. When the Holy Spirit comes into our hearts and lives, we are invited into ventures unseen with the unpredictable, faithful, and clever ways of her redemptive work in the world.

Week 5 • What are the Gifts of the Holy Spirit?

Ephesians 4:11-16 (NRSV); John 7:37-44 (NRSV)
Have you received the Holy Spirit? It is a gift we receive in Holy Baptism that seals our lives to God and gives us fruits of character that reflect God’s likeness. However, it is possible to be baptized and not receive the Spirit (Acts 8:15, 19:6). Do you want the Holy Spirit? He drives Jesus into the desert, initiating the start of a journey that ends in death. He compels Paul to, what would become, his death. He makes others speak in tongues, leave their homes and families, and inflicts untold financial loss. We ask God for all kinds of temporary blessings. While these are good, those prayers pale in comparison to what we might receive if we asked God for the Holy Spirit. We might move mountains. We might perform actions greater than Jesus Himself. Do you really want the Spirit of the LORD? But of course, how could anyone want anything else?

Week 4 • Who is The Holy Spirit?

1 Corinthians 2:10b-13 (NIV); John 16:7-15 (NIV)
The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, coequal with God the Father and God the Son. In this beautiful and mysterious relational Godhead, the Holy Spirit was sent to be with Jesus’ followers upon His leaving this world. As our Advocate, Comforter, and Counselor, the Holy Spirit guides us into truth and brings the blessings of a godly life. He helps us in every way; even in our corporate life together, the Holy Spirit breathed life into the early believers and created the Church – the Body of Christ! As Christ saves us, the Holy Spirit sanctifies us; that is, transforms us into God’s holy people. The Holy Spirit is always renewing, refreshing, and empowering the work of the church.           

Week 3 • The Lord’s Prayer, Part III

Matthew 6:9-13 (NRSV); James 1:12-18 (NRSV)
...and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen. Certainly God tempts no one to sin, but we all have times of trial when our faith is put to the test. It is then that we need God’s strength and perseverance to endure to the end in where His kingdom and power and glory will be revealed forever. “And together we say, Amen! So be it!”

Week 2 • The Lord’s Prayer, Part II: Supplication and Grace

James 4:1-10 (NIV); Matthew 6:9-12 (NIV)
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us…  After coming to God with praise, submitting our wills to His, we bring our supplications, a fancy word for prayer requests. At the top of that list, we should include a double portion of grace to extend forgiveness to others the way we have been forgiven.

Week 1 • The Lord’s Prayer, Part I: Adoration and Submission

Psalm 8 (NIV); Matthew 6:5-10 (NIV)
Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Before coming to God with anything we need or want, Jesus teaches us to begin with a word of adoration, coming before the Lord Almighty to submit our wills to His greater will.