Why Wouldn’t Everyone Want to Pray in the Spirit [Part 2]

By — February 27, 2018

Are you ready for some good news?

In Christ, you’ve been made spiritually alive and your spirit is always ready to embrace the marvels of God’s grace.

Today’s Text: “…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….” (Ephesians 6:18, ESV)

In the passionate scene of Jesus’s angst in the Garden of Gethsemane, there is an interesting series of references to the essential makeup of the human person. In verse 34, Jesus declares that His “soul is very sorrowful.” In verse 38, Christ announces, “The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Within just a few verses, Mark mentions the soul, the spirit, and the body.

Though many theologians have asserted that the scriptures describe us as consisting only of soul and body, I’m more drawn to the idea that we are tripartite: spirit, soul and body. I see the soul as the mind (and the seat of the will and emotions) while the spirit is that regenerated life that communes with the Spirit of God. Here’s one way to see it: the body experiences pleasure, the soul experiences happiness, but the spirit experiences joy. The Bible never proposes that the body is bad and never asserts that only the spirit matters, but the spirit can apprehend things that the mind cannot comprehend.

When Jesus declares that the spirit is willing, He uses a word that more accurately means “desiring.” Your spirit isn’t “willing” in the sense of reluctantly conceding to a course of action. Your spirit is “willing” in the sense of “wanting”.  Jesus is saying that while your flesh is weak and your soul can be overwhelmed with sorrowful exhaustion, the spirit within you is ready?

The spirit is READY to worship.

The spirit is READY to give.

The spirit is READY to love.

And your spirit is READY to pray.

Your body might be tired and tell you not to pray. Your mind might be overwhelmed with worry or sorrow and have no desire to pray. But your spirit, the deepest part of who you are in Christ, is ready. Praying in the spirit begins with recognizing that you are a new creature in Christ, and whether your body or mind “feels” like praying, you’ve been spiritually wired to commune with God. And that’s the Gospel!

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