A Deeper Look At Prayer Part 2
Be Filled With The Spirit
By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley
Last study we talked about the importance of getting in the presence of God. The more we are in His presence the more like Him we become. We are kind of like spiritual sponges. Whatever we are giving our time to most, wherever we are spending the most time, that is what we absorb and become the most full of, what we become the most like. Spending time in God’s presence we absorb who He is. Then when trials and tribulation come we are squeezed and whatever is in us is what will come out of us. If we have spent our time filling ourselves with the junk of this world, worry, fear…that is what will come out of us. But if we are filled with Him what a difference it makes. If we are full of His Spirit love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance comes out when we are squeezed (Gal. 5:19-25).
Are you FULL of His Spirit? Sure, if you are born again your spirit has come to life anew and you are indeed indwelt by God’s Spirit but isn’t it interesting that those who had walked with Jesus and talked with Jesus were told to go and wait in an upper room until they were, “Endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). They were born again also for Jesus acknowledged their names were in the Book of Life (Luke 10:20). You have Him, but does He have you? Are you operating in the fullness of His gifts? To truly operate in His fullness He wants to baptize you, not in water, but in the power of His Holy Spirit. Now stay with me this is going to bless you and help you.
Acts 1:3-5 says: “[H]e shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.”
The early church began when 120 people (Acts 1:12-15), men and women, including the disciples and Mary, the mother of Jesus, went into an upper room and prayed for about ten days, most scholars believe, for it was 50 days from Passover to Pentecost, they had spent forty days with the risen Christ, that leaves ten days they prayed until the day of Pentecost when the fullness and power of the Holy Spirit descended upon them. Read Acts 2. It would be good if you would read the whole chapter but I want to particularly focus on these verses:
“1And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
2And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.
3And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.
4And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
5And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.
6Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
7And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
8And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?
9Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,
10Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,
11Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
12And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?
13Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.
14But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:
15For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.
16But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
17And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
18And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”
This is an important distinction for I fear that many do not continue in the Lord and walk in all the power He wishes us to have. True, all you need to get to heaven is to be born again, but in the world we live in we should desire all He has for us. Remember the verse I quoted earlier “Endued with power from on high” from Luke 24:49? The original Greek word used there for power is dunamis that is the same word we get our modern day word for dynamite. God wants to empower us. He wants us to know the fullness of His Spirit and all He is capable of, empowered by His Spirit supernaturally. He wants to endue us with the power we need to overcome, to live holy, to be a witness, to have faith beyond our faith. The fullness of His Spirit is for you, it is a gift. And lest you think it was just for those 120 read on in Acts 2: “38Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. 39For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. “
I love that it was called the baptism in the Holy Ghost in Acts 1:3-5. It reminds me of when I was baptized in water. I wasn’t sprinkled I was plunged under the water and brought back up. That is the way I remember being baptized in the Holy Ghost (Or Holy Spirit, whichever you prefer). I knew His Spirit when I got saved and His Spirit was within me but that day was like I was plunged into Him! It is kind of like filling a glass with water, that’s getting saved, but then take that same glass full of water and plunge it into a bucket full of water, that’s the baptism in the Holy Spirit! I’ll never forget that day. Just when I thought it couldn’t possibly get better it got better! I understood the Word of God better, I had a boldness to witness that I didn’t have before. My prayer life changed. Now when I prayed I prayed with confidence and authority. I could feel the pain others were going through and enter in to their suffering and pray deeply and vicariously for them. I realized that even the tremble of my lips, the tears I cried, the groanings and syllables I uttered at times was the Holy Spirit praying through me. I remember once I was praying and not even aware of what I was praying, it seemed like another language to me and right beside me at the altar was a man whose eyes were fixed on me like he was listening to every word. I remember wondering, why is this man staring at me? Afterwards he told me he understood every word I said and that he knew God was speaking to him through me. A friend of mine told me recently about an evangelist in South America that was to speak and he prayed and asked God that rather than him having to go through the interpreter that God fill his mouth with the words to say. He testified that as far as he knew he was speaking in his own language but the interpreter afterward asked him where he learned their native tongue. God filled his mouth in the language he needed to speak. Isn’t that amazing? And God confirmed what I was experiencing was truth and of His Spirit in the Word with scriptures like:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
14For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
God so wants to empower you. When Peter and John heard the people of Samaria had believed they went to them so they would have the fullness of the Holy Spirit:
“14Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. “ (Acts 8:14-17)
I ask you like Paul asked the people of Ephesus, Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?
“ 1And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
4Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
6And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:1-6)
How about you? Do you want all that God has for you? Are you hungry for Him? Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Ask God to empower you with His Spirit. Let Him know how hungry you are for Him. It doesn’t just happen once either. Every time you call upon Him to empower you and to increase your faith and boldness, every time you ask Him to help you pray He is there: “ 31And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:31). Read the whole chapter in Acts 4. It will bless you! Maybe you have experienced what I am talking about but it seems like it has been a while since you have really experienced Him. Why don’t you ask Him to fill you fresh and new? You need a fresh anointing to face each and every day.
The empowering of the Holy Spirit will take you forward in your spiritual walk and revolutionize your walk with God, your prayer life and understanding like nothing else will. So if you feel what I am saying and if you have always thought there was more ask Him to give you this gift. It is just that a gift. A gift He desires to bestow upon you to empower the gifts He has already given you. Your gift may be teaching or preaching, it may be helping others. Let the Holy Spirit empower these gifts to be all they can be. He gave Himself for you, He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us so that we could even do greater works than He did while on Earth. Greater works than Jesus? How is that possible? I didn’t say it, Jesus did! In John 14:12 Jesus said:”Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” And then He went on to explain how this would happen, it would be because of the Holy Spirit, the comforter He would send: “16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” (John 14:16-17). Once He released the Holy Spirit He knew He could empower us to do more than we ever dreamed we could do. You have His Spirit, now let Him bestow His gift on you of fullness and power. Are you ready to experience God and His power in a deeper way than you ever have? Pray and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
If you have any questions let me know and be looking forward to our next study as we go deeper into understanding this thing called prayer.