Navigating Change with Prayer
To navigate change, we want to make sure we are making the Holy Spirit our navigator and following His lead as we pray.
How do we follow the Holy Spirit?
1. We submit to God. Our position in a relationship with God is one of a childlike dependency on a loving Father. If we try to be self-sufficient in our own strength, talents, or abilities, we will miss God. If we try to take control away from God or His Spirit, we will miss God. If we choose to step outside of dependency and think or act outside of His authority and sin, we will miss God. If we fail to pursue God and neglect to act in obedience, we will miss God. We follow the Holy Spirit by leaning, relying on God.
2. We give attention to the matters of the spirit realm. It doesn’t go without saying: we have to start by becoming born again. When we make Jesus the Lord of our life, God recreates our spirit, changing our nature with His righteousness. Then the Spirit of God comes and lives inside our heart. There is another important experience we require, and that is when the Holy Spirit fills us with His power. We call it the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then we, as a spirit being, continue to connect and grow with God, who is a spirit, with the help of the Holy Spirit. If we fail to pay attention and perceive spiritual matters, we will miss God.
3. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11), the Holy Spirit not only empowers us, but He also helps us to pray beyond our understanding, beyond our thinking (Romans 8:26). How does He do that? He helps us to pray words that we don’t understand. These words are languages that we have not learned, but the Holy Spirit gives us the ability to speak them. These languages are human or angelic languages (1 Cor 13:1). When we pray in these languages, or tongues, we are speaking to God from our spirit (1 Cor 14:2). It is a spiritual activity that often helps us to receive from the spirit. This is why we use the phrase “stir yourself up” when we refer to praying in the spirit, or pray in tongues (I Cor 14:4). This helps position us to hear from God. We can simply pray in the spirit, and we begin to hear from God (Jude 1:20). Other times, the Holy Spirit will cause us to speak out something very specific, and we recognize it because it has a definite start and stop. It also is often a different sound than we normally experience, like a different language than usual. In these times, in private, we can ask the Holy Spirit to reveal what we prayed. Sometimes he will, and sometimes we don’t need to know. If this happens in public, it should always be followed by an interpretation, otherwise, no one understands and there is no use for it (1 Cor 14).
4. The Holy Spirit will speak through the Bible. It’s a living book (Hebrews 4:12). He not only said it once, God will use the Bible to say it again to us personally. The Holy Spirit will often lead us to specific Scriptures for that purpose.
5. We listen to our spirit. Our spirit is what some refer to as that intuition or sixth sense we experience as human beings. That is our inner voice, or spirit, where we know things. It’s not intellect or emotion; it’s a spiritual perception. The Holy Spirit will use our spirit to guide us on what direction to go (Proverbs 20:27). We should learn to listen to our heart, or we can miss God.
6. The Holy Spirit will drop “a knowing” in our spirit (Romans 8:14). He sometimes leads us or communicates with us through this sudden drop of knowing or understanding that we didn’t know as a result of our imagination or meditation. It’s like a deposit, the Holy Spirit placed it there.
7. The Holy Spirit will also deliver words to us. Similar to the “knowing,” it is a drop in the spirit, a knowing but with specific words.
8. The Holy Spirit will sometimes speak to us with an audible voice. It’s like the knowing with words, but it is so loud in our hearts that it seems audible to us. Other people don’t hear it, but it seems as if they should.
9. The Holy Spirit will sometimes give visions, or pictures. So, compare the “knowing” with a visual. It’s similar to how we use our imagination to visualize, but it is dropped in by the Spirit. Those visions can be like seeing a simple picture to seeing like a video being played. In both of those experiences we are receiving something, but we are very aware of our surroundings. There is a deeper vision some experience, similar to the audible voice, where our natural senses are affected. In this deeper vision, or as the Bible says, a trance, our natural senses are affected, sort of suspended, and we see and hear as if we are there (Acts 10:10).
10. The Holy Spirit will sometimes speak through a dream. According to the Bible, a spiritual dream will also have an immediate or soon after knowing of the interpretation. A spiritual dream is not to be dissected and figured out through symbolism. The Holy Spirit will interpret to our spirit so we have understanding. If the dream does not have a spiritual knowing with it, leave it alone.
11. The Holy Spirit will sometimes speak through another person with whom we are praying. Through a knowing with a piece of information, a knowing with a piece of wisdom on something to do or apply, or a word of prophecy, a message from God (1 Cor 14:1). Whenever this happens, it should confirm something God has already said to us, or something the Holy Spirit will confirm in our hearts that it is God. Anyone can make a mistake as they try to hear from God, so always test it in our heart and with the Bible.
12. The Holy Spirit sometimes uses signs to confirm His word to us. He will take something we see or hear and send us a reminder of something God has already spoken to us. These signs should only confirm something God has already said.
Prayer is connecting with God, heart to heart, or spirit to spirit. We connect with the help of the Holy Spirit. We speak; we listen. We hear, we act. Through prayer and the Spirit, we have everything we need to navigate through the seasons of life.