The Holy Spirit in Praying


Will the Holy Spirit lead us in prayer?


As we consider the vital role the Holy Spirit has in facilitating, we should start with a confidence that the Holy Spirit wants to lead us.


Please consider one of the “craziest” statements Jesus ever made. He is with His disciples the night before He will be crucified. It is what we call the “Upper Room Discourse” of John 13-17. In John 16:7 He says, “But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.”


If the disciples were at all drowsy that night, I am sure this statement woke them right up. “What? We have spent three years with this man and we are now convinced he really is God in human flesh, and He is now telling us that it is good for us that He leaves? How can that be?” Is it really better to have the Spirit of God in us than to have the Son of God with us? That is clearly what Jesus taught.


Our understanding of the trinity comes into play at this point. But obviously, Jesus knew what He was talking about. It really is better to be a temple of the Holy Spirit, in which the Almighty God in the form of His Spirit dwells in us, than to simply be a witness to what Jesus did when He was on earth. The key difference is that now Jesus is not only with us everywhere we go, but is in us and can direct us from our innermost being.


Based upon this truth, the Scriptures tell us that it is right for us to develop a conviction that the Holy Spirit will guide us. Consider the following verses.

  • The key to what is known as the “Good Shepherd” chapter – John 10 – seems to revolve around the fact that Jesus and His sheep can and do hear each other’s voices. Notice especially verses 3, 5, 16, and 27. Jesus is still the Good Shepherd and He still wants us, through His Holy Spirit, to “hear His voice.”
  • Romans 8:14 says, “…because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” One of the evidences of being a true child of God, of receiving eternal life from Him, is that we now follow the leadership of the Spirit of God. He cannot lead us without communicating to us in some manner.
  • In Galatians 5, capping off a key passage on living in the Spirit rather than by our own sinful desires, Paul instructs us that, “Since we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” (v. 25). Again, based upon the life we have received from the Holy Spirit, we are now invited to live that out by keeping pace with Him. The Holy Spirit is committed to helping us keep in step with what He is doing and saying.

We can be confident that as we live our lives and as we seek to lead others in prayer, the Holy Spirit not only is “out there somewhere” but that He is dwelling inside of us and wants to led us in the process.