Andrew Murray on ‘The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Prayer’ #2.9
In chapter 20 of The Indwelling Spirit, Andrew Murray focuses on the Spirit’s office as the Spirit of Prayer.
He states that this leads us into the mystery of the Holy Trinity where we have
- The FATHER to whom we pray
- The SON (Jesus) through whom we pray
- The HOLY SPIRIT by whom we pray
Each person of the Trinity also has His own office, continues Murray.
- The FATHER is the unseen God, the author of all.
- The SON of God brings God near and reveals God to us.
- The SPIRIT of God is the power of God dwelling and working in us.
Even in the Church as a whole, each person of the Trinity has His office: What the Father has purposed and the Son has procured can only be appropriated and made effectual in the body of Christ through the active operation of the Holy Spirit. He has therefore been assigned the task of preparing the body of Christ to reach out, receive, and secure what has been provided by Christ our Head.
The Holy Spirit as the Spirit of Prayer
Murray now points to the wonderful truth found in Romans 8:26-27 that is sometimes overlooked. He says that God searches out hearts to know the mind of the Spirit who prays in us according to God’s will.
In the same way the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
The Holy Spirit’s operations do not stop there.
- He makes the Word of God clear to our understanding.
- He works desires and yearnings into our spirit which only God can discover.
- He works in us the longing to be filled with the fullness of God.
- He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:19-20), even if it has not yet ‘entered our hearts.’
1 Corinthians 2:9
However, as it is written: What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived—the things God has prepared for those who love Him.
Praying with the Spirit and with understanding
In Corinthians 14:15a Paul says:
So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding.
During New Testament times, says Murray, the danger was to neglect the understanding. In our time, the danger is just the opposite. We need to be reminded that with the prayer of understanding there needs to be prayer in the Spirit.
But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
In relation to praying in the Spirit, Murray says that we need to give due place to the twofold operation of the Spirit.
- God’s Word must dwell in us richly.
- The Spirit who dwells in the inner sanctuary will help us grasp and obey God’s Word.
Worship in holy stillness
Throughout this book, Murray hammers the need for worship and stillness as the path that will lead to breakthrough in prayer. In this chapter he does so again. He says:
As we pray, let us worship in holy stillness and yield ourselves to that blessed Paraclete who alone is the Spirit of supplication.
As with Murray, we do well to regard it as a privilege to be the temple from which the Holy Spirit prays with prayers too deep for words. This path, says Murray, is open to us all.
So let the Holy Spirit have full control of your life, and believe that His mighty power is perfecting you according to the divine purpose of our Lord.
Most holy God, allow my inmost being and my outward life to be so under the Holy Spirit’s leading that I may have the spiritual understanding that knows how to ask according to your will as well as the living faith that receives what it asks.
When I know not what or how to pray, O Father, teach me to bow in silent worship and wait before you, knowing that the Holy Spirit breathes the wordless prayer that You alone understands.
As a temple of your Holy Spirit, I yield myself to be used in His work of intercession. Andrew Murray