Prayer in Christ
“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 through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”
Romans 8:26-27 (NIV)
When you go to your private place of prayer, wherever that may be, to pray in accordance with God’s will and to ask in Jesus’ name, you are not alone. The vicarious nature of prayer means that you pray to the Father, in Christ the Son and by the Spirit. Jesus, who is our eternal High Priest, takes our imperfect prayers, and perfects them for presentation to the Father in the Holy of Holies, where he intercedes for us in the presence of the Father.
It is noted in a chapter of the excellent book: “A Passion for Christ – The Vision that Ignites Ministry” by the Torrance brothers that, “The vicarious humanity of Christ extends to the inmost part of us. Christ takes our place even in the very intimacy of prayer. James B. Torrance shows us how this is a tremendous relief. As he says, we want to pray, we try to pray, but we fail. The gospel directs us then to look away from ourselves and to Jesus. “In our name, on our behalf, in a human body…In Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we are drawn into prayer that is a wonderful communion in the love of the Triune God. Prayer becomes not what we do – in our harried and exhausted effort – but what Christ does in us and for us. This is the exhilarating freedom of the gospel!”
Jesus is our great High Priest who is interceding for us, he comes to us by the Spirit to pray with us and in us, leading us in our prayers. Hebrews 10:21-22 encourages us, “…and since we have a great High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings…” We must not regard prayer as a legal requirement we must fulfil in order to please God! It is a joyful response of love to our Father. A gift of grace in giving us Christ to stand in for us and in giving us the Holy Spirit to teach us to pray, and lift us up in prayer into a life of loving communion.
Father in heaven, thank you for the gift of prayer. Please enable me to trust Jesus as he intercedes on my behalf in your presence, in the Spirit.
Study by Sherwin Scott
About the Author:
Sherwin Scott is a Deacon in the congregation of Grace Communion Church in Lewes. Like us on www.facebook.com/GCLewes
Grace Communion – Lewes
The Priory School
LEWES BN7 2XN
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