CHAPTER 4

                                PERFECT PRAYERS


               Spiritual weakness  and insecurity  often  plague those  who
          stand  before the  throne of  God alone.   Human  frailty becomes
          distinctly apparent  in the  light  of His  eternal presence  and
          power.   Words seem  superfluous, thoughts meaningless,  and even
          the sound of one's own voice is but a whisper compared to the One
          who  spoke  the universe  into  existence.   We  often experience
          petitionary insignificance,  spiritual unworthiness,  and perfidy
          when we consider ourself  before the Almighty.  For one who prays
          in the  Spirit, however,  no such  spiritual inadequacies  exist.
          The  prayers of  the Holy Spirit  are  perspicuous utterances  of
          perfection; such is His nature  and character as the  Holy Spirit
          of God.  


                                  AUTHORIZED

               The Holy Spirit  joins with us  as we pray to  authorize our
          petitions.   The dictionary defines "authorized" as:  "to approve
          by  official  confirmation."    Romans  8:26-27   identifies  the
          Holy Spirit as the One  who "makes intercession."   It is He  who
          stands  in  the  official  capacity  as  God the  Holy Spirit  to
          parallel our prayers with His perfect nature.
               Occasionally when attempting  to secure a  substantial loan,
          or  large  purchase,  a  co-signer  is required.    Such  is  the
          functionary  nature of  the  Holy Spirit  when  we  petition  our
          Heavenly Father.   He is  the "Paraklete," the (One  called along
          side),  who parallels  our prayers  to  secure an  answer of  our
          Heavenly Father.  Such authorization is represented in perfection
          and holiness as He authorizes our petitions before the Lord.

                                  AGREEMENT

               From  our  text,  we  discover  two  references  to  "maketh
          intercession."  The  first, in verse (26,) refers  to the making,
          or creating,  of intercessory prayers  in our behalf.   The Greek
          term  rendered "maketh intercession"  in verse (26)  is only used
          this one time in the New Testament.
               The other usage of "maketh intercession" is in verse (27) of
          our text.   "And God that searches  the heart, knows what  is the
          mind   of  the  Holy Spirit,   because  the   Holy Spirit  maketh
          intercession for the saints according  to the will of God."   The
          Greek  term in  this  case  is found  five  times throughout  the
          New Testament and is [can be]  translated as (to confer). Thus we
          discover the  Holy Spirit "confers"  with God  according to  His,
          God's, will.   This  can  only be  considered an  act of  perfect
          agreement.   Humanly  speaking, it  is impossible  to  be totally
          familiar with every  aspect of God's perfect will  for our lives.
          The  Holy Spirit, on the  other hand, is  perpetually sentient of
          God's perfect will for our lives, thus He prays in agreement with
          the Father.  We need only  therefore be confident as we pray;  we
          have the knowledge that the  Holy Spirit agrees with the Heavenly
          Father in  perfection  as  He "makes intercession for  the saints
          according to the will of God."

          ILLUSTRATION
               A child  has been  diagnosed to have  leukemia.   Family and
          friends join  together in prayer  to petition God for  a miracle.
          What if,  in fact, the  child does  not have leukemia  but rather
          some  rare blood  disease yet  undiscovered  by medical  science?
          Could  God answer the request of  those in prayer who were asking
          that the child  be delivered [healed] of leukemia  when, in fact,
          that was  not the case?   The question is  not: "Could God?"   As
          God,  He knows  no limitation.   The  question rather  should be:
          "Would He?"  As  God, he is not  obligated to hear or answer  any
          prayer offered outside of His will:  "And  this is the confidence
          that we have in  Him, that, if we ask any thing  according to His
          will,  He  hears us."1    He is,  on  the other  hand,  more than
          willing to  give us the  petitions that we  desire of Him.2   How
          should we  pray, therefore, if we  are simply unsure of  what, or
          how,  we should  pray?  The only option  would be to pray in  the
          Spirit.  When we rely upon the partnership of  the Holy Spirit in
          prayer, He will  offer perfect prayers of agreement  according to
          the  will of  God.    The  perfect  nature  and  prayers  of  the
          Holy Spirit harmonize  with the  perfect will of  God and  thus a
          perfect spiritual union can always be maintained while praying in
          the Spirit.  If  we are willing to exercise our  faith by praying
          in the  Spirit, He will "make intercession"  - confer - with God;
          and accomplish  God's perfect will  in our behalf each  and every
          time we make petition of Him.  
               The question  is often raised,  "Can't God figure it  out on
          His own?"   As sovereign Lord, and  omniscient God, He knows  all
          things and  God has sent  the Holy Spirit to be  our Intercessor;
          the Paraklete...called along  side, to make intercession  for the
          saints according  to the will  of God.   God's will is  for us to
          agree  with  the Holy Spirit  in  prayer  for  God's will  to  be
          accomplished.
               Some  confess,  "But  I  mean  well!"   Again,  God  is  not
          obligated to  answer prayers based on how  well meaning we may be
          when we pray.  He answers prayer, however, based upon His perfect
          will.  If we are unwilling  to allow the Holy Spirit to  parallel
          our prayers, as one who confers with God in our behalf, we should
          not be surprised  when answers are  not forth  coming.  We  need,
          therefore,  to learn  to  pray in  the  Spirit.   Such prayer  is
          harmony with God's will.  As He, the Spirit of God, intercedes in
          the spiritual realm,  we pray in the natural realm.  We are aware
          of such intercessory activities when we pray in tongues - divided
          languages.  


                                    ACCURACY
          ____________________
               Many  of our  prayers,  perhaps  most,  are  never  answered
          because we have prayed  in error.  Somehow we loose  sight of our
          Heavenly Father's holiness and simply have concluded that He will
          overlook anything done unawares.   We know, for example, that one
          cannot be born  again by works, church membership, water baptism,
          or by simply  claiming to be a Christian.  One is only born again
          by confessing  Jesus Christ  as Lord and  Saviour.   We willingly
          admit no variance in such doctrine but radically change our views
          when it comes  to our own personal relationship  with God through
          prayer.   We  suddenly claim  no personal  responsibility in  our
          actions or  attitude based upon  ignorance when we pray.   "Well,
          God  knows what  I mean,"  becomes a  common  escape when  we are
          simply not willing to abide by His Word.
               We are required by Scripture to  be just as accurate when we
          petition God as we were when we received [confessed] Him as Lord.
          Everyone faces inadequacy  in prayer:   "for we know not  what we
          should  pray for as we ought."  If spiritual accuracy is required
          by  God when  we pray, we  have no  choice but  to depend  on the
          ministry of the Holy Spirit when we pray.

          ACCURACY DEFINED
               The dictionary defines "accuracy" as: "to conform exactly to
          truth or  a standard.  as Believers, the  standard is the will of
          God.  The  ministry of the Holy Spirit is  to "make intercession"
          and to do so (according to the will [standard] of God).
               We often  experience frustration  when we  pray because  the
          answer has not conformed to our desire.  Yet we have the promise:
          "and  we  know that  we  have the  petitions  that we  desired of
          Him."3  The  conflict lies with our  will verses God's.   God may
          indeed withhold an answer if it  does not conform to His  perfect
          will.  Faith, therefore, becomes the variable.  Are we willing to
          trust God?   If so,  then we  must learn to  wait on God  for the
          fullness of His perfect will.  Praying with supernatural accuracy
          is only possible through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  He has
          promised to  Do so "according to the will  of God" and in perfect
          agreement with God's perfect design  for the lives of His people.
          Praying in the Holy Spirit is the only Scriptural way of assuring
          we are praying "will of God" prayers.  Learning to trust  God for
          His perfect will thus becomes the topic of our next chapter.

          BAPTISM OF THE SPIRIT
               As a Baptist, I disagreed  strongly with those that used the
          phrase  "baptism of  the Spirit"  to refer  to the  Spirit filled
          life.    I often  preached  firmly  against  such doctrine  as  I
          ministered in various Baptist churches.   It was only after being
          filled  with the  Spirit in  early August  1982  that I  began to
          realize my teaching was unscriptural.
               The Apostle Peter  returned to Jerusalem in Acts  11 and was
          approached  by  the  Jerusalem  leadership  as  to  why   he  had
          ministered to Gentiles.   Peter explained the vision  he had been
          given by  God  and  the leading  of  the Holy Spirit  to  go  and
          minister  the Word  to a  gentile household.   Cornelius  and his
          entire household had been led  to Christ through the preaching of
          Peter.    According  to  Peter's  own  testimony,  they  likewise
          received the  "baptism  of  the  Holy Spirit."4   Our  Lord  also
          instructed  His  disciples  to  remain  in  Jerusalem  after  His
          ascension  until they received the "baptism of the Holy Spirit."5
          Thus  the  term "baptism  of  the  Spirit"  or, "baptism  of  the
          Holy Ghost" is  Scriptural  in reference  to the  filling of  the
          Spirit.
               From  our Biblical  examination of  tongues in Chapter  3 of
          this book, it should be clear that the baptism of the  Spirit, or
          the experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit with evidence
          of tongues, is for today's Church.  As we have seen, one receives
          the  Holy Spirit  at  the  moment  of  regeneration,6  but  being
          "sealed" with the   Holy Spirit is  different than being  "filled
          with  the Holy Spirit.   How do  we know  there is  a difference?
          "You shall receive power, after  that the Holy Ghost is come upon
          you."7
               Even as  a Baptist  preacher, there came  a time in  my life
          that I realized  I was powerless.  I began to pray and claim Acts
          1:8; asking the Holy Spirit  to reveal the truth of the  verse to
          my heart.  I knew the evidence of such a Spirit filled life would
          be power.  Of course, as a Baptist, I did not believe in speaking
          in tongues.  I was convinced that  the sign of tongues had passed
          from off  the earth with  the death of  the last Apostle.   After
          spending over two months praying  daily on my knees and examining
          Scripture  as  I did  so,  I  was  filled with  the  Holy Spirit.
          Unusual  as it may seem, however, I  did not begin to pray in the
          Spirit -  speak with  tongues -  until  three years  later.   The
          reason?  I simply  did not believe.  God will never  give you any
          thing unless you first believe.
               A year after being filled with the  Spirit, I began to again
          search the Scriptures  concerning answered prayer.  I  knew I was
          filled with  the Spirit,  and I  knew the  power of  God was  now
          present  in my  life;  but  something was  missing.   I  was  not
          receiving answers to my prayers consistently.
               Returning  to my  knees,  I  began  to  once  again  examine
          Scripture concerning  my need to  receive answers to  my prayers.
          More than a year past, until I finally began to consider the true
          meaning of "speaking  in tongues."  As I  examined and reexamined
          Scripture on this doctrine, I  began to realize there were simply
          too many unanswered questions.
               In  early  May of  1985,  I began  to submit  myself  to the
          leading  of the  Holy Spirit  and the  Word  of  God.   I  simply
          confessed to the Lord I did not  understand all on the subject of
          tongues  but   was  unable  to  dismiss  Paul's  statement  in  I
          Corinthians 14, "forbid not to speak with tongues," and that when
          one did speak with tongues,  he was speaking "mysteries to God."8
          I asked God to give me  this gift of tongues and He did  so.  For
          complete details on just how  this occurred in my life, refer  to
          my booklet entitled: "When Baptist's Speak In Tongues"  The test,
          or evidence,  of the  Spirit filled life  is, of  course, power.9
          The sign is  tongues.10  Paul confessed  that not all  spoke with
          tongues but  he desired  that all  Christians would  do so.11   I
          found  it theologically impossible  and Scripturally  improper to
          simply  dismiss such  Biblical teaching.   With  a great  deal of
          uncertainty, and a  small amount of faith, I  submitted myself to
          the Holy Spirit  and asked God to  fully fill me  with His Spirit
          and  to give  me the  evidence  of such  power with  the  sign of
          tongues.
               As I  already mentioned, the  evidence of the  Spirit filled
          life is  power.   If the  sign of tongues  is a  viable sign  for
          today's Church, and if I began to speak in tongues and to worship
          God  in the  Spirit  accordingly;  I expected  my  prayers to  be
          answered consistently thereafter.  In  the first six months after
          receiving  the  gift of  tongues, I  experienced more  answers to
          prayer than I  had in all the years since I  had been born again.
          This  evidence of  Holy Spirit  power  has continued  and I  have
          learned that God hears and answers prayer.  All was made possible
          through the  baptism of  the Spirit which  is available  to every
          Christian who  lives "in the  last days,"12 and have  called upon
          the name of the Lord to be saved.13

          FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT
               The  way one  is filled  with  the Spirit,  or receives  the
          baptism of the Spirit, with  the evidence of speaking in tongues;
          is the same way one is born again.  Being filled  with the Spirit
          is not adding to one's  redemption, only affording one power from
          God to do His  will and works.  If you already  have the power of
          God in your life,  - do you get your  prayers answered - I  would
          assume you  are Spirit filled.  If such  is not the case, you can
          easily be filled by simply making request of God.  In some cases,
          the laying on of hands was used when receiving the baptism of the
          Spirit.  In  other cases - Peter's experience  with the household
          of Cornelius - no hands were laid upon them.  If you will stop at
          this very moment,  and ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit with
          the evidence of the gift of tongues, you will be filled.  Because
          of unbelief,  however, many of us do not  speak in tongues at the
          moment we are filled with the Spirit.  Again, God will never give
          us any thing unless we first believe.  If you are still in doubt,
          read  again Chapter 3  of this  book and  ask the  Holy Spirit to
          reveal God's truth to  you on this doctrine.  At  the very moment
          you ask God  to fill you, however, you will be filled.  Expect to
          speak  with  tongues   [divided  languages];   you  will   either
          immediately, or soon thereafter, do so.   Expect the power of God
          to rest upon you because you  have asked to be filled with  God's
          Holy Spirit.    As  you  make your  request,  remember  that  the
          Holy Spirit is agreeing with your request and making intercession
          for you  according to  the will of  God.  God's  will is  for His
          people  to be  filled with  His Holy Spirit.   Remember  that the
          Holy Spirit gives  the utterance.14  As  He does so, you  will be
          "praying in the Spirit" and magnifying God.15


          Footnotes For Chapter 4

          1 I John 5:14
          2 I John 5:15
          3 I John 5:15
          4 Acts 11:16
          5 Acts 1:5
          6 Eph. 1:13
          7 Acts 1:8
          8 I Cor. 14:2
          9 Acts 1:8
          10 Acts 2:4
          11 I Cor. 14:5
          12 Acts 2:17
          13 Acts 2:21
          14 Acts 2:4
          15 Acts 10:44-46

                            End Of Chapter 4

                            PRAYING IN THE SPIRIT


                                      BY

                                 PHIL SCOVELL




                             Copyright 1989/2004

                               By Phil Scovell

                             All Rights Reserved



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