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Sermon #4060

Praying in the Spirit

A Sermon on Ephesians 2:18


Ephesians 2:18 ESV KJV
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (ESV)

Sermon Description

What does the Holy Spirit have to do with prayer? In his sermon on Ephesians 2:18 titled “Praying in the Spirit,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones seeks to impress on the believer the absolute necessity of prayer and of the role of the Holy Spirit in prayer. According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, praying in the Holy Spirit “is the very essence of prayer.” Also, in light of God’s stunning love that brings His children to Him, “prayer is the supreme activity of the human soul.” Many people think that prayer is as simple as saying “their prayers,” but Dr. Lloyd-Jones critiques the phrase “saying our prayers” as being antithetical to prayer itself. Prayer is much deeper than this simplistic understanding because it is a Holy Spirit-lead endeavor. Dr. Lloyd-Jones goes as far as to say, “The Holy Spirit is as essential to prayer as the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.” According to Dr. Lloyd-Jones, Jesus died that all might have access to the Father and the Holy Spirit makes real to the believer all that Jesus died for. Both must be held together if prayer is going to be true prayer.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by emphasizing the importance of Ephesians 2:18 which states that through Christ, both Jews and Gentiles have access to the Father by the Spirit.
  2. Prayer is the greatest privilege we have and the greatest difficulty. The enemy attacks us the most in this area.
  3. There are many difficulties in prayer like realizing God's presence, concentrating, feeling unworthy, and doubts. But we must pray despite the difficulties.
  4. We need to be taught how to pray. The first step is recollection - remembering what we are doing.
  5. God is spirit, so true prayer is spiritual, not confined to place, posture or form. It is vital, not formal.
  6. The Holy Spirit is essential to prayer like Christ. Without the Spirit, prayer is impossible.
  7. The Spirit gives us a spiritual mind and shows us our need, sin, and need for God. He reveals God's glory and adopts us as children who can cry "Abba! Father!".
  8. The Spirit keeps our eyes on Christ, reveals God's promises, and leads us to pray with freedom, not bondage.
  9. We should ask the Spirit to enliven us in prayer. He intercedes for us when we don't know how to pray.
  10. Through Christ and by the Spirit, we have access to the Father.

The Book of Ephesians

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.