ESV - 18 Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
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To pray in the Spirit is simply speaking in tongues. Before Jesus ascended up to heaven He gave His disciples a command: Acts 1...4 “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with[a] water, but in a few days you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.” 6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” In Acts 2 it tells how the first 120 people were filled with the Holy Spirit. Coming of the Holy Spirit 2 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord[a] in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. I was born and raised Catholic and never learned this growing up. I learned about salvation and water baptism in the Baptist Church but they never taught about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. I always had felt in my spirit that there had to be more to God than to just believe in Jesus and being saved. Salvation is the most important thing but in all honesty it wasn't enough to keep me straight. I was an alcoholic and drug addict. I heard preachers telling me to "just put it at the foot of the cross". Well thank you very much Mr. preacher man. I'll just mosey right on over and put all this at the foot of the cross and everything will be just hunky dory! I couldn't do it on my own and no one had ever told me that Jesus was ready and willing to help me take it there. It wasn't until I tried out a Spirit filled Pentecostal Church and learned about the baptism of the Holy Spirit and then received Him myself that I could overcome my strongholds. Fortunately the church I was at had a new members class that taught about all their beliefs. The pastor of the church was very passionate and so was the pastor leading the class. When he began to talk about all the benefits of receiving God's precious gift of the Holy Spirit I knew that this was the missing link I had always wondered about. By the third class he gave people who wanted to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit an opportunity to receive. When he laid hands on me I began to utter things in an unknown language and could feel the presence of God like never before! I joke sometimes and tell people that God gave me an extra dose because I was actually high or what people call "drunk in the Holy Spirit"! God showed me right then that He has everything I need and what He had to offer was so much better than any drug or alcohol I could take. I'm telling you all this so you will hopefully get a better understanding that it's not just about speaking in tongues but rather enhancing your relationship with God and taking it to another level. The most common way people receive the Holy Spirit is by laying on hands but I have heard of people simply asking right by themselves and receiving. Read the book of Acts and there are at least 2 accounts of laying on hands and receiving. Acts 7: 14-17 and 19: 1-5 are great examples. Speaking in tongues is nothing to be afraid of. It actually shows that God has a sense of humor because we can't understand it, others around us can't understand it and most importantly demons can't understand it. Only God does. Now this is different from the gift of tongues where someone utters and another interprets. Tongues is for every believer as a spiritual prayer language.
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