The apostle Paul admonished the Ephesian believers “Praying always with all prayer and supplication IN THE SPIRIT …” (Ephesians 6:18, emphasis mine) and then later the apostle Jude wrote “… building up yourselves on your most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST.” (Jude 20, emphasis mine). To many, these two phrases “in the Spirit” and “in the Holy Ghost” are a complex theological mystery. Thankfully, there are preachers, teachers, and parents/grandparents just like you who are opening up God’s Word to explain in simplicity this beautiful way of communing with the Father.
Let’s look at the next illustration to teach one of these benefits that comes from 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 and modify the illustration to become a powerful teaching tool.
The Importance of Praying in Other Tongues
Part 16 –Discipline Our Will to Pray God’s Way
“What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray
with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit,
and I will sing with the understanding also.
1 Corinthians 14:15
For this illustration, you will need a Bible, a bag of clothes pins, and a pair of tennis shoes.
Before I teach today’s lesson, I might need to go around the room and give each of you one of these clothes pins (show bag of clothes pins) to place upon your nose. Why? Because in a matter of a 60 seconds, I am going to show you a pair of my running/walking tennis shoes. (Pass out a few clothes pins.)
Ready for the shoes? (Show the running/walking tennis shoes and pretend that they have an odor.) I am showing you these shoes because they are the greatest way that I can think of to teach about the word “will”. You see, each and every day, I take off my regular shoes and then put on these shoes so that I can walk/run and get my much needed exercise. Now let me be perfectly honest. Do I want to walk/run every day? Absolutely not. There are days when I am so excited to walk/run. But there are also days that I have to make a decision to do (whether I want to or not) what I know is extremely important. Putting on these shoes and then doing my daily exercise is a matter of my will. Walking/running is a daily discipline in my life that is both needful and beneficial.
In today’s scripture (open up your Bible and read the verse), we see the words “I will” four times. (Share the four “I will” phrases.) In other words, praying/singing in my heavenly prayer language and also praying/singing with my understanding is a matter of my will. It is a choice and a daily discipline. Just as in the case of my putting on my shoes (show shoes) to walk/run, my feelings can’t determine whether or not I will do what is for my benefit. The answer each day (show Bible) is “I will” do a spiritual exercise (discipline) that is both needful and beneficial.