Prayer, the Work of the Spirit


It is the Holy Spirit who breathes God’s own desire into us and enables us to intercede for souls.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were born under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father.” —Galatians 4:4-6

We know what ”Abba, Father” meant in the mouth of Christ in Gethsemane. It was the entire surrender of Himself to the very death that the holy will of God’s love in redemption of sinners might be accomplished. In His prayer He was ready for any sacrifice, even to the yielding of His life. In that prayer we have revealed to us the heart of Him whose place is at the right hand of God, with the wonderful power of intercession that He exercises there and the power to pour down the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has been bestowed by the Father to breathe the very spirit of His son into our hearts. Our Lord would have us yield ourselves as wholly to God as He did, to pray like Him, that God’s will of love should be done on earth at any cost. As God’s love is revealed in His desire for the salvation of souls, so also the desire of Jesus was made plain when He gave Himself for them. And He now asks of His people that that same love should fill them too so that they give themselves wholly to the work of intercession and, at any cost, pray down God’s love upon the perishing.

And if anyone should think that this is too high and beyond our reach, the Holy Spirit is actually given into our hearts so that we may pray as Jesus did in His power and in His name. It is the man who yields himself wholly to the leading of the Holy Spirit who will feel urged, by the compulsion of a divine love, to the undivided surrender to a life of continual intercession because he knows that it is God who is working in him.

Now we can understand how Christ could give such unlimited promises of answer to prayer to his disciples; they were first going to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now we understand how God can give such a high place to intercession in the fulfillment of His purpose of redemption. It is the Holy Spirit who breathes God’s own desire into us and enables us to intercede for souls. 


  • How does the realization that the Holy Spirit can breathe God’s will into me change how I pray?
  • How can I tell whether my desires are my own or my Lord’s? 

Prayer: Abba Father! Oh, grant that by Your Holy Spirit there may be maintained in me the unceasing intercession for the love of the souls Christ died for. Give to me the vision of the blessedness and the power that comes to those who yield themselves to this high calling. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


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