Pray in the Spirit at all times
in every prayer and supplication.
To that end keep alert
and always persevere
in supplication for all the saints.
These two encouraging verses are from the letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians(6:18). To “pray at all times” is a tall order, however! At all times?!? What about sleep? What about all of the people and daily responsibilities that demand my attention? I’ll never get anything done!
Well, Saint Paul speaks of prayer in the Spirit. And, the same Saint Paul tells us elsewhere that “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words”. (Romans 8:26)
“At all times” is thus perhaps less a reference to a continuous act of prayer in time—which is impossible—and more a reference to a constant intention to be open to the Holy Spirit, Who indwells us and helps us to pray. Indeed, although the Holy Spirit is active in us and wishes to teach us to pray (wishes to pray in us), we must do our part. We must intend, want, choose: “Come Holy Spirit, enkindle in us the fire of Your love”.
Our prayer is a mysterious act of faith, hope and love, and is both the work of the Holy Spirit in us and our act. And, per this and other exhortations from Saint Paul, our prayer must dare include all aspects of our life (“Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6). Our prayer must be humble and not presumptuous. Our prayer must be full of hope and persevere. Who makes this possible? The Holy Spirit—if we want…
pupil with you of the Holy Spirit