Leadership Blog

17 Jan Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 9


Here is another great illustration to use in teaching about the importance of praying in the Spirit. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview of the illustration. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 9 – Eliminate Biases and Selfishness in our Praying

For this illustration, you will need a cookie sheet, hammer, chisel, Pam Non-stick Cooking Spray, and Bible

This is really going to sound spiritual … I want to tell about baking chocolate chip cookies. I’ll skip past putting the ingredients together and start with the actual baking. What is your first step? Is it rolling the cookie dough into little bitty balls, putting the balls onto the cookie sheet about an inch apart from each other, and then sticking the cookie sheet into the oven? (Allow for a response.) If this is the way that you bake cookies, let me show you two more things that you will need for your baking. (Show the hammer and chisel.) I can guarantee that you will pull the baked cookies out of the oven and discover that they are so attached to the cookie sheet that you will need the hammer to bang on the chisel to force the cookies off of the cookie sheet. (Demonstrate using the hammer and chisel on the cookie sheet.) The end result won’t be what you wanted. The crumbled, broken cookies will be so disappointing.

What is missing in your baking process? All of you bakers are one step ahead of me. It’s quite simple. You forgot to coat the cookie sheet with Pam Non-stick Cooking Spray. (Show Pam and demonstrate spraying on the cookie sheet). Skip this step … chisel cookies. Use the Pam … beautiful, delicious cookies. 

I know. Baking chocolate chip cookies isn’t spiritual, or, is it? Believe it or not, the baking process will show one of the of the most important reasons why I pray in other tongues. Ready for this? 

Here is a reality. When we are talking to God about a particular situation or person, it is so easy to allow our brain to “stick” opinions, biases, and even selfish ideas to our prayers. And, once these perceived “facts” are attached to our prayers, it is difficult (use the hammer and chisel) to pray prayers that get results. 

Fortunately, we find in Romans 8:26-27 (show Bible) a way to pray prayers that say EXACTLY what God wants to hear. We need to pray spiritual Pam-coated prayers … praying in other tongues. This 100% Holy Spirit-enabled prayer language articulates what the Holy Spirit is saying through our spirit to our Father. Did you get that?  Through our spirit. Our  mind with all of it’s attached opinions, biases, and even selfish ideas is totally uninvolved in what is being communicated to God. Off-base, incorrect thoughts can’t stick to our Pam-coated prayers. Praying in other tongues will always produce the desired results … God will step into the situation and do what only He can do!

 

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14 Jan Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 8


I have been waiting for what seems like FOREVER for today to get here. I can’t wait to share this illustration. Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 8 – Enjoy a Supernatural Communion

For this illustration, you will need a large strip of Velcro and a Bible.

For just a brief minute or two, I want to try to impress you. I am going to give you a highly technical description of a very common item and then ask you to tell me what I have described. Here goes …

Hook-and-loop fasteners, hook-and-pile fasteners or touch fasteners, consist of two components: typically, two lineal fabric strips which are attached to the opposing surfaces to be fastened. The first component features tiny hooks, the second features smaller loops.

Can anyone tell me what I described? (Give a few people an opportunity to respond.) The answer? In all honesty, with the help of Wikipedia, I have given a complex description of something that you probably use every day … Velcro. (Show and demonstrate using the Velcro.) When one strip of Velcro containing hundreds and hundreds of tiny hooks is pressed up against a strip of Velcro containing hundreds and hundreds of tiny loops, a strong connection is created. You already know this because most of you are wearing shoes right now that utilizes Velcro to secure the shoe on your foot. 

The reason that I brought this Velcro today wasn’t to show off my intelligence with the “smarty-pants” description. Instead, I know that this piece of Velcro could help to show one of the major reasons why I pray in other tongues. God’s Word (show Bible) teaches (1 Corinthians 14:2) that when we pray with our heavenly prayer language, two powerful things happen. First, we learn from the Bible that we are praying in a language that no other person can understand. It’s a heavenly language! Second, while those around you can’t understand this prayer, God does! It is truly supernatural praying. The Holy Spirit enables our mysterious prayer language to share intimate thoughts and feelings from our spirit (show one strip of Velcro) with our heavenly Father (show the other strip of Velcro) to create and enjoy a supernatural connection (connect the two together). The result of this heavenly connection (communion) will be powerful changes in our life and the lives of others. It’s no wonder why I love praying in other tongues. 

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10 Jan Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 7

I can see it now! Those hearing you share these simple, easy-to-do, easy-to-understand illustrations are recognizing the importance of praying in other tongues. Lives are being changed! Keep it up!!!

Once again, I will give a brief, skeletal overview. Then, with the Holy Spirit’s help, you can personalize the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 7 – Receive a Supernatural Refreshing

For this illustration, you will need a towel, Bible, and also a large clear glass (so its contents are visible) filled with ice and lemon aid.

I am sure that you will relate to this. Can you think of a time when as a child that you were out playing baseball or soccer in the summer’s unbearable heat? Or, perhaps as an adult you were out in the yard doing much-needed yard work under the brutal scorching sun?  You know exactly what I am talking about. After a while, your entire body is so hot. Your clothes are soaking wet. (Tug on your clothes as though they are wet and you are trying to allow air to cool your body.) And you find yourself constantly wiping the sweat from your face. (Use the towel to illustrate wiping the sweat.) Now imagine getting a glass filled with ice-cold lemon aid. (Show the glass of lemon aid.) To help refresh your memory of what this is like, just watch me as I take a drink. (Take a swallow or two. Be over dramatic in showing your pleasure as you take that first sip of the lemon aid.) Within just a few sips of the ice-cold lemon aid, everything begins to change. All of a sudden, because of what I call the chill factor, your entire body is refreshed! It brings on a gigantic aaahhhh! (Be over dramatic and humorous as you say the aaahhhh.)

I love the aaahhhh factor for your body. (Put away the glass.) But, what about your spirit? Thankfully there is one. And, I want to use this aaahhhh factor to share one of the important reasons why I pray in other tongues. The Bible (pick up Bible) teaches us that when life is like the super hot day that I just described and is overwhelming and draining the oomph out of you, there is a refreshing that comes when we pray in the Spirit. (Isaiah 28:11-12) I come back to the phrase that I mentioned a minute or two ago. Praying in other tongues is a chill factor that brings the aaahhhh that causes a supernatural refreshing and a rest to our spirit. Why? Because as we pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit delivers a joy and peace to our spirit (Romans 15:13). The cares and stress will fall to the side as He lets us know that everything will be aaaahhhh (all) right. 

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07 Jan Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 6

In my almost 40 years of ministry, I have often heard people state that the whole subject of praying in other tongues is such a mystery to them. Consequently, their lack of understanding has prevented them from preaching and teaching about the importance of praying in other tongues. Hopefully, this blog series is providing clarity to you and secondly easy-to-do, easy-to-understand illustrations to assist you in your ministry. Again, I’ll give a brief synopsis of the illustration. With just a little effort on your part, it will become a powerful teaching/preaching tool. 

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 6 – Pray the Unknowns

For this illustration, you will need a cell phone.

We live in an information driven age. Fortunately or unfortunately, today information about anything and everything is at your fingertips. For example, if you want to know the current temperature, you don’t have to drive your car through town to find a bank that has the current temperature displayed on its LED sign. No. All that you need to do is to pull out your cell phone (show cell phone) and simply say “Hey Google (Android) or Hey Siri (Apple), what’s the temperature?”. Within a second or two, you will know the temperature. (Demonstrate asking your cell phone for the temperature.) If you want to know how to spell a particular word like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, it’s just a matter of saying “Hey Google (Android) or Hey Siri (Apple), spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”. Instantly your cell phone will reveal this word’s 34 letters in the most delightful way. (A little Mary Poppins humor.) It’s amazing what this cell phone can tell you. 

Let me tell you about a situation that just happened today in which my cell phone couldn’t help me. Before coming to today’s service, I wanted to pray for those attending and ask God to do something incredibly personal in each person’s life. Here are the questions that my cell phone couldn’t answer. “Hey Google or Hey Siri, who is going to be at today’s service?” and “What do I need to pray about for these people?” My Hey Google or Hey Siri was totally useless and couldn’t answer these important “unknowns”.

So, what did I do? With the Holy Spirit’s help, I prayed to God and said, “Heavenly Father, I want you to do a powerful work in today’s service. But, I don’t have a clue about who is going to be there or what they need.” Next, instead of saying “Hey Google or Hey Siri” to activate getting help, I said “Hey Holy Spirit, help me to pray about these unknowns”. Immediately, I began to pray in other tongues. In doing so, I knew that the Holy Spirit was at work. He was taking my questions and communicating with God through my prayer language the exact words that needed to be prayed for both you and this service. In other words, the Holy Spirit was covering my unknowns. (Romans 8:26-27) 

What are your unknowns? It could be about a family member or about a situation at school or work. Pray in other tongues. Open the door for your spirit to connect with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to cover your unknowns. 

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03 Jan Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 5

Let me make a quick confession. I have been anxiously waiting for today to get here. I am so excited to share another easy-to-do, easy-to-understand illustration that shows the importance of praying in other tongues. Again, I’ll give a brief synopsis of the illustration. With just a little effort on your part, it will become a great teaching/preaching tool.

The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 5 – Pray the Perfect Will of God

For this illustration, you will need a large road map or a slide showing a map of your state.

If I had an opportunity today, I would love to get into my  car, leave behind the busyness of Fort Worth and drive down to Galveston to spend a peaceful day or two on the beach. I would love to spend the early morning and late afternoon hours doing absolutely nothing but sitting on the sandy beach and hearing the peaceful sound of the waves rushing onto the shore. Then, add to that, wading in the water and … I’d better stop. Just thinking about it is way too inviting. I might leave right now!

To get from Fort Worth to Galveston, I can guarantee that I would want to drive straight down to Galveston. (Show on your map/slide) I wouldn’t want to start the drive by heading (show on your map/slide) south and then get off of the interstate and head west towards Midland and then back north towards Amarillo before getting back on a road that heads south down to what I call Beach Heaven. Just because I am in my car and the wheels are turning doesn’t mean that I am heading towards my goal. As soon as I get into my car here in Fort Worth, I want to make every mile move me closer and closer to Beach Heaven. 

The same should be said about our time in talking to our heavenly Father. When we are praying about a particular situation or circumstance, we want to make sure that we are staying on track with our conversation with God. Our prayer needs to be direct and not take us in directions that will keep us from saying what is needed to be said. Just because it is words and directed towards God doesn’t mean that we are praying words that will accomplish what is needed. 

Thankfully, there is a way to pray exactly what is needed exactly when it is needed. When we pray in other tongues, the Holy Spirit enables us to pray what God wants to hear about the situation. (Romans 8:26-27) Each and every word prayed in our heavenly prayer language is right on track and moving us closer and closer to arriving at our desired destination, God’s will accomplished in the situation. 

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