“Pray for the Spirit!”

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If I have learned anything in the past thirty-six years as a Christian, and in the last twenty-eight years as a pastor, I have learned that I am utterly dependent upon the Holy Spirit, for seeing any lasting or substantial spiritual progress, in both my personal life and the lives of those to whom I minister.

Simply put, I am conscious of the fact that I am to be continually dependent upon the indwelling ministry of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9). Indeed, every day I must ask Him for illumination (for reading God’s Word [Psalm 119:18]), and for filling, to order to enable me to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 5:18; Romans 8:4). Further, I have come to see that men, women, and children; will not, no matter how well I pray and preach (Acts 6:4; Ephesians 4:11-12); bow their knees to the Savior, or progress in their personal sanctification; unless, the wind of the Holy Spirit is pleased to blow our way (Zechariah 4:6, “'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts”). Beloved, is this not a humbling reality? We can see this truth no better portrayed for us in Scripture than by our Lord Himself while He walked among men. While upon earth, He set us the supreme example of what it means to be totally-dependent upon the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1; Matthew 12:28, “... by the Spirit of God.”). Elsewhere in Scripture, we see that His example was set for us to follow (Romans 8:13-14, “... but if by the Spirit ... being led by the Spirit of God, ...”; See also Galatians 5:18). So, when you are led by the Spirit you yearn for more of His daily presence in power. However, some Christians today believe that a believer is not to ask God for any further visitations of the Spirit, whether it be: personally, ecclesiastically, regionally, nationally, or globally. If their reasoning has to do with the conviction that all believers have received the fullness of the Spirit at conversion, we have no controversy here (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Peter 1:3). But, does this mean that we must never ask God for additional visitations or effusions of the Spirit subsequent to our conversion? For example, like at Pentecost, the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation, or as the Great Awakenings of the eighteenth-century in America and the British Isles? Absolutely not! Rather, we must habitually ask God for additional effusions of the Holy Spirit upon our lives, ministries, churches, and nation! In fact, we are in continual need of an extraordinary visitation of the Holy Spirit upon our application of the “ordinary” means of grace! Dear brethren, pray for more visitations of the Holy Spirit! And may we live by the Holy Spirit while asking God for such blessed showers (Zechariah 12:10; Luke 11:13, “... give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”)! Such prayers and heart-longings, are fueled by a desire for the glorification of Jesus Christ, and for the victory of His Kingdom here on earth! Hear the following words of Iain Murray, “Scripture places no limitation upon the Spirit’s work of glorifying Christ and extending His kingdom.” O may our hearts be prepared today, to encounter the living God tomorrow morning, in public Worship, through the praises and prayers of His people, and through the preaching of His Word!

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