Last week, I started sharing about how to discern the call to prayer. You might also describe it as responding to spiritual prayer burdens.
Talking to a prophet friend of mine in the Southwest about this topic this week because it’s been happening to both of us in the past month. We were both feeling prayer burdens, but we turned the heaviness inward. We had our only little prophetic pity party for a few days over it.
Then he shared this with me:
When these feelings come to us, the flesh wants us to focus on me, me, me and turn it inward. The Spirit wants us to focus on them, them, them, and turn to intercession.
Let’s consider some scriptures that compare the flesh to the Spirit.
Matthew 26:41 – Jesus said to watch and pray. He said the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.
Galatians 5:16 – The Apostle Paul said, “Let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.”
What does your sinful nature crave? Self-gratification.
Jesus said, “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing:”
Paul said in Romans 8, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”
Romans 13:14, “Put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.”
Galatians 5:17 – For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Galatians 6:8 – For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
So what’s my point?
My point is when you feel heavy-hearted, when you feel depressed, when you feel oppressed, when you feel out of sorts, don’t get into your mind about it. Even if it is your own personal problem, that’s not going to solve it. Pray in the Spirit. He is willing to help you with your infirmities and He wants to pray through you to help the infirmities of others. Remember, the Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. Walk after the spirit and you won’t fulfill the lusts of the flesh. And get passionate about intercession.
In closing, I’ll leave you with another quote from E.M. Bounds:
Desire burdens the chariot of prayer, and faith drives its wheels. Prayerless praying has no burden, because no sense of need; no ardency, because none of the vision, strength, or glow of faith. No mighty pressure to prayer, no holding on to God with the deathless, despairing grasp, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” No utter self-abandon, lost in the throes of a desperate, pertinacious, and consuming plea: “Yet now if Thou wilt forgive their sin—if not, blot me, I pray Thee, out of Thy book.”
Are we ready to pray?