Praying by abiding relies completely on becoming full of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit takes up residence in the believer and carries out His ministry from there. As Christians our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. At least provisionally. He cannot take up residence while I remain firmly seated on the throne of my heart. Afterall I was here first.

Around age 22 the Holy Spirit challenged me: “If I come to dwell inside your body you will have to leave”. He reminded me of my favourite prayer quotations, Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me”. I had no idea to be crucified with Christ was an experience that would cost me my residence. I protested, “Dear Holy Spirit, I have lived in this body for the past 22 years. I don’t know any other body. Where would I go?”

Majority of Christians are very familiar with the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which is an immersion.  That is an experience. All it requires is to be thirsty and then drink. The fulness of the Spirit, however, is a relationship. The Spirit occupies space in my body where I used to reside. I freely give Him that right. He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. And at anytime you are free to take it all back. Without this transaction it is not possible to know the Person of the Spirit in a tangible, distinct manner. We know the anointing, we witness the power, we exercise the gifts, but know so little about the Person Himself. I don’t see how anyone can be involved in praying down revival today without having this intimate knowledge and walk with the Holy Spirit. He is the Lord of the harvest. Matt 9:37-38, “Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” It is His job to bring revival through the travailing and abiding prayers of those in whom He resides.

The Holy Spirit is a Person, just as Jesus is

He has intelligence (John 14:26), a will (Acts 16:7), and affections (Ephesians 4:30). Furthermore, He performs acts proper to personality. He is said to speak expressly (1 Timothy 4:1), to send (Acts 10:20), to prevent (Acts 16:7), to command (Acts 11:12), to forbid (Acts 16:6), to call ministers of the gospel (Acts 13:2), to appoint them to their spheres of duty (Acts 20:28), to make intercession (Romans 8:26, 27).

We need to know Him as a Person, and not just a special feeling in a meeting, or an emotional uplift. If you don’t step aside and yield your will over to Him at every demand, you’ll have a clash of personalities.  For it is the Spirit that leads you step by step in acts of obedience until you are conformed to the image of Christ. While we engage with Him in total surrender as we abide He engages with the adversary.

Isa 59:19, “When the enemy comes in like a flood,
The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.”

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