‘If you know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ (Luke 11:13)
On Sunday David concluded our series on The Lord’s Prayers by looking at how the Holy Spirit empowers us in prayer. If you missed any of the series, you can download the talks through our website and you may also want to join us at our Empowered Worship Evening on Weds Mar 15.
Here are a few suggestions for how you can experience the Holy Spirit empowering you this week.
Praying by Yourself
Paul writes to the Corinthians about gifts from the Holy Spirit. These gifts are distributed by the Spirit however, he desires (1 Cor 12:11) and they’re intended for the common good (1 Cor 12:7).
But just because the Spirit gets to decide who gets what gift, that doesn’t mean we should be passive! As we heard on Sunday, God is a Father who gives good gifts to those who ask (Luke 11:13). Which is why Paul tells the Corinthians to ‘Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy’ (1 Cor 14:1).
As you pray this week, why not ask God to empower you for service, giving you spiritual gifts?
Praying for yourself
When praying for yourself, present your requests to God, reminding yourself that He’s a good father who gives good gifts.
Prayer is a two-way conversation. This week, try asking God to speak to you. You may have particular things you could do with guidance in, but be open to Him prompting you in different areas of your life.
When praying, make sure you allow space to hear God’s promptings. You may find it helpful to write down anything that comes to mind: Bible verses, thoughts, things you see in your imagination. Then take time to pray about what you’ve written down to discern if they’re from God and what they might mean.
Sometimes the answer may come at different times in the day. Look out for conversations, comments from others, moments you may not normally notice, or might usually write off as coincidences. These may be ways in which God is prompting you and answering your prayers.
Praying for others
This week, look out for opportunities to pray for others. There may be someone in your workplace or neighbourhood who would value receiving prayer. Keep your eyes open for people God may prompt you to pray for.
Why not set yourself a challenge to pray for someone you’ve never prayed for before. You may want to offer to pray for a colleague who is going through a difficult time or pray for healing for someone who is sick. It may even be that you spot someone in a public place and feel God nudge you to pray for them.
It can feel daunting to offer to pray for someone, but as long as you’re kind as you ask, and are clear as you explain what prayer is, you’ll find that many people will be grateful you’ve offered.
If you’d like to know more, we would recommend Mike Pilavachi and Andy Croft’s book Everyday Supernatural, which is a great introduction to many aspects of living an empowered life. Bill Hybels’ The Power of a Whisper is a brilliant book on hearing God’s prompts, and you may also enjoy listening to the talks from our sermon series of the same name.
And if you have any stories of successes, we’d love to hear them. Email us at to share your story and encourage others.
Praying with Others
As you meet in Connect Groups this week, why not try praying empowered prayers for one another? You may want to ask God for spiritual gifts or pray for healing if someone needs it. But perhaps one of the most helpful things to do is to use the opportunity to listen to God for one another.
It can be daunting learning to hear God’s promptings and sharing them with others, but a Connect Group should be the perfect place to practice. You may not get everything right; as Paul says ‘we know in part and we prophesy in part’ (1 Cor 13:9) but a Connect Group should be a safe place to learn and encourage one another.
Why not pick someone to pray for, and then the whole group pray and listen to God, to see if He gives you any words for them? The words should be in line with the teaching of the Bible, and they should be encouraging (1 Cor 14:31).
If you feel like God may be prompting you, why not share it. Then at the end, ask the person to feed back on whether the words made sense to them.
If sharing things out loud seems too daunting, you could write things down instead. Try and pray for a few members of the group, and conclude the evening by sharing the lessons you’ve learnt in the process.
Again, if you have any stories of successes, or things you’ve learnt, we’d love to hear them. Drop us a line at to share your story and encourage others.
Praying with Children
This week, ChristChurch London Kids continued thinking about the Lord’s Prayer, focusing on the phrase ‘Lead us not into temptation.’ You can find out what we covered by downloading the take home sheet.
Jesus talked about choosing the hard way, not the easy way, when he used the picture of gates in Matthew 7:13-14: ‘Go through the narrow gate. The gate to destruction is wide, and the road that leads there is easy to follow. A lot of people go through that gate. But the gate to life is very narrow. The road that leads there is so hard to follow that only a few people find it.’
When praying with your children this week, why not draw a picture of two gates: a big one, and a little one. On the big one, write down lots of things that seem really tempting, but which aren’t good for us. And on the little one, write (in tiny writing!) all the good things Jesus wants us to pursue. Then pray that God would help us to choose the right gate.