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lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, east coast Canada).
What Does the Bible Say About … PRAYING in the SPIRIT?

How do you pray in the Spirit?


Praying in the Spirit is a wonderful experience that comes from having a relationship with God’s Holy Spirit. Praying in the Spirit makes sense when you read Jesus’ words of encouragement to His followers:

John 4:24 24 “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”

We are to worship God in Spirit!

Jesus also promised a counsellor to His followers, One that would always be with them and in them.

John 14:16-18 “I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counsellor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” NIV

Praying in the Spirit is Biblical and is encouraged to be practiced on all occasions.

Jude 20-21 “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.” NIV

Eph 6:18 8 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” NIV

But now, how can you pray in the Spirit?

There are two ways and both ways will fill a person with divine peace and awe for God’s majesty and care for us.

In the Bible, praying in the Spirit mostly refers to praying in tongues. The apostle Paul made a clear distinction between praying in the mind (intelligence) and praying in the Spirit:

1 Cor 14:14-19 “For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” NIV

Both prayers are useful and bestow great blessings. The Greek word for mind in this text is “nous” and means the intellect, i.e. mind. It is clear here that praying in the Spirit in this text means praying in tongues, while praying with the mind is praying in your own language.

The apostle Paul explains it this way: 1 Cor 14:2 “For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men, but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.” NAS

In other words praying with the mind means you pray not only to God, but also for other people around you to understand you, while praying in tongues is directed directly to God only. This is why the apostle Paul encouraged Christians to pray with the mind in church:

1 Cor 14:19 “But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue.” NIV

Unless someone could interpret what was prayed in tongues:

1 Cor 14:13-15 “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.” NKJV

Now does praying in the Spirit only mean to pray in tongues? Not at all!

1 Cor 12:29-31 “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” NIV

It is clear from this text that the apostle Paul expects a no for an answer. Not every Christian speaks in tongues. It is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but it not THE gift of the Holy Spirit.

If not every Christian receives the gift of speaking in tongues, how could the apostle Paul encourage all Christians to pray in the Spirit, if praying in the Spirit means to pray in tongues? This would not make any sense at all. It’s like encouraging a dog to start quaking. That poor dog would never be able to do this and would be frustrated in its attempts.

In other words, praying in the Spirit does not only mean praying in tongues. The following text will give us more clarity, although it also refers to speaking in tongues:

Rom 8:26-27 “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 with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” NIV

In this text we can understand what praying in the Spirit means. God’s Holy Spirit intercedes for us, He guides us in our prayers, He helps us in our weakness. When you pray in the Spirit, God’s Holy Spirit guides you, He leads you in prayer. It can be done through speaking in tongues, but it can also be done through speaking your own language. We do not know what we will be praying when we pray in the Spirit, but God’s Spirit takes charge. He knows our burdens and our needs and He knows as well God’s will and what is best for us.

If someone’s faith in God is shallow, his/her prayer life will also be shallow, irrespective if that person speaks in tongues or not.

What should you do if you do not feel like praying? Should you force yourself in prayer, with a long unhappy face or should you not pray at all?

The best answer is to wait for the Lord and tell Him how cold and prayerless your hearts has become, and ask Him to send His Holy Spirit to warm your heart and draw you into prayer:

Ps 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him.” NIV

Hos 12:6 “Wait for your God always.” NIV

Singing praise songs to God and worshipping out loud will also invite God’s Spirit. It will not be long before you are filled with God’s presence and that you will have a desire to pray with vigor. God’s Holy Spirit has come into you and has stirred your heart into action. You will not want to stop praying as you will be aware that you are in direct communication with your Heavenly Father. You will start to pray for the right things in the right way. There will be joy and power in your prayer. You will feel God’s Spirit guide you in your prayers. He will be your guide in your prayers.

I have experienced both ways. One time God’s Spirit overtook me and I started to pray vigorously in English for the salvation of my mom. The words that were spoken in my mind were not mine, but God’s Holy Spirit’s. I was brought towards a door that had some light shining through. I knew God was at work with my mom, and that He had already penetrated the doors of her heart. However when I was led to pray for my brother’s salvation, I was led to a door that was pitch black! However, I believed-and still believe-that God is able to break that door down!

I have also prayed in the Spirit in tongues with such force and conviction, feeling God’s presence around and in me. Both experiences were very similar, except that one was done in English and the other one was done in tongues. Those are awesome experiences my friend, that make you long to pray more often with your Heavenly Father! You do not have to look for words in your prayer; God directs you and leads you in marvelous ways.

Would you like to experience praying in the Spirit? Why don’t you wait for the Lord and start praising His name? Why don’t you invite Jesus in your life and let Him become your closest friend. Human friends are not always reliable. You have probably experienced that already. But your friend Jesus is always reliable and is always there for you. Will you invite Him in your heart and start walking with Him? Experience His power in your life, my friend. He is waiting for you.

Rev 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. NIV

Rob Chaffart


“For we know not what we should pray for as we ought:—the Spirit—helpeth our infirmities” (Rom 8:26).

—“God is a Spirit, and they that worship him MUST WORSHIP HIM IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH” (John 4:24).

Someone that truly prays one prayer, shall after that, never be able to express in language, or pen the unutterable desires, sense, affection, and longing and all feelings that went to God in that prayer.

To pray in the spirit is to pray with a sincere, sensible, and affectionate pouring out of the heart and soul to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! Through Christ with the help of the Holy Spirit who speaks to God in groanings that only He can understand. For without praying as such, it is just words.

Through Christ we all have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph 2:18).

“For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:26,27). MAY ALL BE BLESSED!

Love DeeDee


The best answer the I can give you is found in (Acts 2) When the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in new tongues. I believe that they where praying in the Spirit.



Praying in the spirit is praying Gods Word, because it is written if I abide in Him and His words abide in me I can ask what I will, It is also written the Words I speak to you they are spirit and they are life. This is the confidence I have in Him if I ask anything according to His will (Word) He hears me. If I search the Word and find an answer to my problem, I know it is the will of God on the matter ,I then have confidence that He has heard me. If we are filled with the spirit (Word) when we pray that is what comes forth ,When we don’t know how to pray as we ought the Holy Spirit makes intercession according to the will (Word) of God.

This is how I pray in the spirit as I grew in the Word ,I have no confidence in prayers that are not backed up by the Word of God ..even my own. But once I have His Word on the matter I can hang on for dear life. He watches over His Word to perform it and it will not return unto Him void but it will accomplish what He sends it to do…Though Heaven and Earth passes away ,His Word will never pass away. In Church when people have prayed ,and one is praying the problem ,God has me praying the answer ,I have seen a lot of prayers answered for myself and others…When we pray the problem it ever looms before us, When we are praying the answer we know God has heard ,we know He’s watching over it ,We know the answer is on the way ,Praise the Lord, I am not a teacher of the Word ,But I have experienced the Word and I am telling my experience in the Word.



I simply talk to Him, just like he was in the room with me.  Just like I talk to Jesus.  Jesus loves The Holy Sprit so and looks kindly upon those who share the same feelings.  There is a Novena to say to The Holy Sprit that one who says it will be granted their wish.  It required three concessive days of one Our Father, three Hail Mary’s and one Glory Be.  I do believe in the past that I have said this Novena for a special intention that I asked for and I do believe an answer came.

Since I am a prayer warrior, I often call on The Holy Spirit for wisdom and guidance in obtaining help for others.  I know He answers as sometimes when I look at what I have read to comfort another, and I know I did not achieve those words by myself.

I remember when I received my heart healing, (Praise The Lord and Bless His Holy Holy Name.)  I saw a see through Dove floating around me when I closed my eyes in prayer of Thank You to The Lord.  One feels at real peace that cannot be described unless they have experienced it when the Holy Spirit has visited you.  I wish for all to receive this feeling.

May The Holy Spirit send wisdom and guidance to all that reads this, and May God Bless you and yours abundantly!

In His Love,