Leadership Blog

11 Mar Praying in the Spirit – Freedom to the Max!

If only you knew … If only you were convinced … If only you could experience … the freedom that comes from praying in the Spirit, you, like the apostle Paul, would say…

“I thank God that I speak in [unknown]
tongues more than all of you.”

1 Corinthians 14:18 (Amplified Bible)

Consider these four areas of freedom gained while praying in other (unknown) tongues:

  • We bypass the restraints imposed by our mind/understanding. (Romans 8:26-27; 1 Corinthians 14:2,14)  The opinions, biases, and limited understanding of the natural mind play absolutely no role in the Spirit-enabled spirit communing with the Father. We are free to pray the PERFECT will of God.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by our earthly road map. (1 Corinthians 13:1; Revelation 1:10) This new-found communion with the Father opens the door to supernatural journey into the previously uncharted realms of the Spirit. We are free to explore places in the heavenlies NEVER VISITED before.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by those around us. (1 Corinthians 14:15,28) Whether aloud while in the assembly of a multitude of people or silently to yourself while working on an assembly line at your job, praying in the Spirit knows no location or situational restraints. We are free to SUPERNATURALLY pray at any place at any time in any circumstance.
  • We bypass the restraints imposed by religious tradition. (Mark 16:17) Jesus was purposeful in saying that it is a “new” tongue. The “we’ve never done it this way before” or “we’ve never witnessed people of your age/gender/background/(you fill in the tradition imposed by religiosity) connect with God this way before” traditions fall to the wayside. We are free to experience God in NEW, FRESH ways.

Can you see how that praying in the Spirit provides us a freedom to the max? Let’s all (this includes you) follow the apostle Paul’s admonition, and in doing so, enjoy this freedom. 

“Now I wish that all of you spoke in unknown tongues …”
1 Corinthians 14:5 (Amplified Bible)

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04 Mar Holy Spirit 101, The Basics

Welcome to Holy Spirit 101, the Basics, the ultimate foundational study of the Holy Spirit. As with any 101 class in high school or college, what would be an in-depth, immense teaching has been reduced to a simple, bare-bone, easy-to-comprehend overview of the subject. The subject matter in this basic teaching is taken from the introduction given by Jesus of the soon-to-arrive Holy Spirit. (John 14-16). This easy-to-remember five-word alliteration will definitely be something to share with other believers.

Person – When talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus over and over again (19 times to be exact) used personal pronouns like He, Him, Himself. Jesus was telling us that the Holy Spirit is NOT a mysterious force or mist or vapor. It is through His Personhood that we can have a relationship with Him. (John 14:16,17,26; 15:26; 16:7,8,13,14)
Promise – The sending of the Holy Spirit wasn’t an afterthought in the Father’s mind. (John 14:16) 
Presence At one time, the Holy Spirit would come upon select individuals for a given amount of  time for a specific purpose. Now, the Holy Spirit has been sent to live and abide within each and every believer forever. (John 14:16-17)
Purpose – The Holy Spirit was sent to be our Helper. Many modern translations use the word “Helper” in place of the word “Comforter” found in the King James Version. Throughout His teaching, Jesus listed several of the many ways that the Holy Spirit would help His followers. (John 14:12,16,17,18,26; 15:26; 16:7-14)
Priority – Jesus told His followers that the sending of the Holy Spirit was not on heaven’s eventually-get-around-to-it list. No. A million times no. Jesus knew that without the abiding presence of another Comforter (John 14:16) His followers would be helpless (John 14:18). Upon arriving in heaven, Jesus said that He would pray the Father to send the One who would give us the needed advantage (John 16:7) to enable us to do His work (John 14:12). The sending of the Holy Spirit was heaven’s priority and the receiving of the promised Helper must be our priority.

Your assignment for this Holy Spirit 101, the Basics class … use this alliteration to strengthen your relationship with the Holy Spirit. Class dismissed.

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25 Feb Does God Want to Baptize You in His Spirit?

From time to time, I will hear people question for any number of reasons if God will baptize them in His precious Holy Spirit. I honestly could write pages of information and cite many scriptures to answer their question. But really, there’s no need to go through all of that writing. Charles G. Finney in his Revival Lectures answered the question in just 110 words. I know that you will want to copy, paste, and send Finney’s quote to many of your friends.

“God says he is more ready to give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him, than parents are to give bread unto their children. Here we are bound to believe that we shall receive it when we pray for it. You have no right to put an if, and say, “Lord, if it be your will, give us thy Holy Spirit.” This is an insult to God. To put an if into God’s promise, where God has put none, is tantamount to charging God with being insincere. It is like saying, “O God, if thou art in earnest in making these promises, grant us the blessing we pray for.” 

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18 Feb Praying in the Spirit Illustrations – Part 13

In reading Mark 16:17 ” … they shall speak with new tongues ..”, many believers today would ask, “Why would we need to speak in a new tongue?” Thankfully, there are people like you that are using these easy-to-do, simple-to-understand illustrations to give a solid, biblical answer in your teaching/preaching/sharing. 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 13 – Gain the Aid of the Great Helper

For this illustration, you will need a Bible and a hank of rope.

For today’s teaching, I need a helper that knows how to play a game called Tug of War. (Bring a young child, perhaps a six- or seven-years-old to the platform.) Tug of War needs little explanation. It is a contest in which two teams pull at opposite ends of a rope until one drags the other over a central line. In this teaching, we are going to play an imaginary game of Tug of War. I will give you the end of this hank of rope and we will pretend that you are playing the game with a bunch of your friends that are about the same age and height. (Give the child the end of the rope.) I’m going to ask my friend to show me how that they would hold the rope and how that they would stand while playing the game. (Allow the child to demonstrate.) It would be a fun game and a fierce competition, wouldn’t it! Now, let me add a twist to this game. What would happen if I came to stand behind you, wrapped my arms around you to grab the rope with you, and began to pull the rope together with you? (Demonstrate.) Bear in mind that I am older, much taller, much bigger, and much stronger than the kids on the opposing team. Who would win the contest? (Allow responses.)

The game of Tug of War illustrates one of the greatest reasons for praying in other tongues. The Bible (show Bible) tells us in Romans 8:26 that there are times that we are in a struggle and at a disadvantage (KJV – “our infirmities”; ESV – “weakness”) when we pray. (Have the child to hold the rope as though they are struggling in the Tug of War game.) It is in these times that the Holy Spirit (point to  yourself) comes alongside to help. (Walk over and stand behind the child.) The word “helpeth” in this verse actually comes from three different Greek root words. One root word means “to take hold together“; the second means “with“; and the third means “against“. When put all together, we see that the Holy Spirit “takes hold together with us against our enemy”. Just as we saw in our Tug of War game, while we are praying in our heavenly prayer language (KJV – “groanings”), the bigger-than-us, more-powerful-than-us Holy Spirit (point to yourself) steps into the prayer (KJV – “maketh intercession”) and supernaturally wraps Himself around us (stand behind the child, reach around to grab hold of the rope with them) to help us (act as though you together are engaged in Tug of War) make up for our weakness (KJV – “we know not what we should pray for as we ought”) by giving what is needed to bring about the victory (high-five each other) against our enemy.

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11 Feb Simple & Powerful!

I recently shared a series of posts with simple-to-do, easy-to-understand illustrations to help those wanting to teach/preach about the importance of praying in the Spirit (also known as praying in other tongues). I trust that you are enjoying and taking advantage of these illustrations.

I want to share just how easy it is to use these illustrations. A few weeks ago, I received a Facebook message from Tracey Zannini Guillory asking permission for her 10-year-old son, Austin, to use one of these illustrations, Holy Spirit Illustrations Part 12, in an upcoming Assemblies of God statewide competition. The Louisiana district had just added an Object Lesson category to their Fine Arts Festival. I gave a Texas-size YES to her request for two reasons. First, this series was posted to be USED!  Second, I love the Fine Arts Festival because it allows children and youth to showcase their God-given talents. These children and youth will be the future leaders of the church.

Was the object lesson simple? Yep. Was is powerful? Double yep! 10-year-old Austin nailed it!!! (And so can you!) Take a minute and view this short video that Tracey posted on my Facebook page.  

Way to go Austin. I know for a fact that the video of your presentation has been viewed around the world. Keep on teaching and preaching the gospel. You are needed.

If you missed any or all of these illustrations, you can find them at www.billyburns.com/blog beginning with Praying in Spirit Illustrations – Part 1 which posted on October 8, 2018. Here is a link to the illustration that Austin shared.



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