"And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints..."
(Ephesians 6:17-18)

My, how important it is for us to follow the Holy Spirit when we pray—and how often we fail to do it. We do not mean to fail, of course, but when dark circumstances and dismal reports from the world around us clamor at our minds and tug at our emotions, it is easy to let those things—rather than the Lord Himself—direct our prayers. We do it without even realizing it. Yet, what a costly mistake it is!

Having made that mistake myself so many times, I am more eager than ever these days to avoid it. And I believe I can, if I will only remember this simple admonition: Pray always in the Spirit. That one precious phrase will help me keep my heart on track. It will remind me that my prayer life is far more powerful when I tune out the troubles around me and tune into the Spirit within me, when I take the time to get full of the Word instead of being so full of the world, when I shut my ears to the cries of the circumstances and open them to the still small voice of the Lord.

Others may choose to devote their prayers to the obvious and urgent needs that blare at us from the newspaper, the television, and the Internet. But I must never forget that God told me long ago not to be led by such voices when I pray. He told me to be led by the Spirit. He's the only One who really knows what's going on in any given situation. No matter how factually accurate a news report may be about the condition in the nation or some other situation, nobody but the Spirit of God understands that situation fully. Only He knows exactly what must happen to change things.

Sometimes, I wonder how productive our prayers would be if we took the time we spend talking about prayer projects or reading newspaper articles or email reports and spent that time just singing, worshipping, and yielding to the Spirit. I wonder what amazing answers to prayer we would see if we focused only on hooking our hearts and our mouths to Him. Since John 16:13 says, "He (the Holy Spirit) will guide you into all truth," how accurate our prayers would be!

Lord, help me always to remember that when I pray. Graciously interrupt me when I start telling You how bad things are and what I think You should do about it. Remind me at those moments to ask for Your perspective. Take me to Your Word where I can feed my faith on Your great and precious promises. Help me worship You until I am lifted into the awareness of Your wonderful almighty power.

Then I will truly be able to pray led by the Spirit, and I will surely see the answers I desire.

Scripture reading: Isaiah 55, John 15:1-16, 16:12-15

Source: Whispers from The Secret Place
by Lynne Hammond.
Excerpt permission granted by Lynne Hammond Ministries