Praying with the Spirit and Praying with the Understanding
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1 Corinthians 14:1-40
Paul continues to give us hint about the possibility of paying in two realms. He calls it praying in the spirit and praying with the understanding. When we pray in Tongues, we pray in the Spirit. Our understanding is unfruitful because we don’t speak to men. In other words us and for that matter no other person understands.
Even though no man understands him his spirit is praying. For the purpose of those around him which may include unbelievers he offers wisdom of praying with the understanding also. Praying with the understanding is using your own language. The reason is that in a public meeting there are nomally cross sections of people and when you are ministering to them they have to understand and respond responsively. Every sound must be distinct 1 Cor 14:7. That is what brings order
In chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians Paul addresses the assembly of believers. We assemble together as Christians to minister to God and to be ministered to. So each of us come to the meeting with a hymn, Psalm, a song, a Tongue, interpretation or word. Paul’s concern was that things will be done in an orderly fashion that each will be edified and ministered to. To achieve that Paul says when it comes to public ministry its important to speak in a distinct language everybody can understand and be prepared because every sound must be distinct (clear).
1 Corinthians 14: 13-15 Paul makes it clear that when the whole church come together in one place he will prefer to pray with his spirit and also pray with his understanding. He can also sing with his spirit and also sing with the understanding
Paul did not confront the use of tongues as unbiblical but he drew the line between the private and the public use of Tongues. When time is set aside for prayer, worship he will pray and sing in Tongues because that is a private time with God no man is suppose to understand us but in spirit we speak mysteries. But when its time to minister to the congregation its proper, respectful and ethical that we speak in our understanding; a language everyone in the meeting understands. If tongues pop up which can happen it must be followed by interpretation and should be one after the other. Not without restraint and uncontrollably.
1 Corinthians 14:32-33, 40 the concern here is about order. The church is engaged in warfare with Satan who is the author of confusion. He must not be given a room to operate. Paul reminds us that our Spirits are subject to us so it’s our duty to bring it under subjection in humility so that things can be done in the house of God in order and decency.
PRAYER IS AN ADVENTURE
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As humans we have a limited or no knowledge of the spiritual realm so as we pray we do not know what is actually going on neither do we know what we will encounter. This makes is adventurous. Going into a territory where u have no idea what to expect. During the 18th and 19th century Christian missionary activities in Africa for example people went into nations they were not familiar with. They went into the unknown and had to face enormous challenges with many losing their lives. Adventure always calls for faith, confidence, determination and sacrifice. In the same to pray effectively you need faith, confidence, hope and sacrifice.
The Bible make it clear that because we have no knowledge and understanding of the territories in the spiritual realm the Holy Spirit will always assist us with the boldness, confidence, and hope and most importantly the direction to be able to pray and assess the riches of God’s presence. The Holy Sprit becomes our spiritual navigation compass so to speak in prayer aiding and directing us to pray according to the will of God.
Romans 8:25-26 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it]. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: 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.
In the natural world adventures have led to the breakthroughs of scientific and technological discoveries. Similarly when we embark on spiritual adventure through prayer we will have breakthroughs of discovery of God’s purpose for your life. What He wants you to do and possess here on earth.
Don’t deprive yourself of the Holy Spirit help in your prayer time. It is alright for your emotions to get involve. It is okay to sweat in prayer just liked Jesus on the Mount of Olives (Luke 22:44). YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT GOD WANTS YOU TO DO AND POSSESS HERE ON EARTH and the best way to discovering is an effective, hottest or emotional prayer which the Bible assures us obtains great results (James 5:16).
Lift up oh ye gates and the King of glory shall come in Psalm 24:7-9
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Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who [is] this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift [them] up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he [is] the King of glory. Psalm 24:7-10
David is the leader, our mentor and teacher of the expressive side of worship. God raised him up to establish the Tabernacle of David.
He had an unprecedented understanding on worship and praise. During his days the church in the wilderness experienced tremendous outpouring of the glory of God into individual lives as well as the nation. He wrote the Psalms which transcends both Testaments.
David lifted up the head of the gate of the Old Testament church for the king of glory to come in by injecting a life time of teachings and knowledge into the church and that was the reason they experience so much glory. (Sing praises to God, sing praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises. For God [is] the King of all the earth: sing ye praises with understanding. Psa 47:7 )
The degree of the glory they experienced was determined by the degree of teaching infused and abounded at the time. Two thirds of the Old Testament is devoted to the teachings on worship.
David commands us to enter the gates of the church with thanksgiving, worship and praise.
Psalm 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.
The only way we enter into the gates with acceptable and vibrant praise and worship is for our heads to be lifted up in KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND UNDERSTANDING.
God had restored the Tabernacle of David to the New Testament church (Amos 9:11;Acts 15:16) so it is the responsibility of Pastors, Leaders, and worship leaders to ensure consistent teaching on Worship and praise to deepen the understanding of our people. The degree of glory, participation, involvement, and results we expect to see depends on how much time, resources and patience we invest into the lifting up of the head i. e. the understanding of our congregation before we enter into celebration both in our private and public lives.
When the people of Israel deepen their understanding through the extensive teaching on worship and praise by king David, they moved from being spectators to participants in corprorate worship which resulted in activating the presence of God and placing the congregation in an atmosphere of receptiveness, expectancy, and readiness to receive their portion of His Glory.
Now is the time to invest into the Extensive TEACHING of Worship and Praise in the New Testament Church to restore the Glory into our lives and the church. No church should proscastinate. Time wasted is purpose wasted!
Excepts from the book Experience God's Glory- the ultimate blessing for the true worshipper