Inactive Holy Spirit? No

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Gina B, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. Gina B

    Gina B
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    I've always been a little disturbed by the idea of the Holy Spirit needing to be "activated" by prayer. Why do people pray for the Holy Spirit to move? Is it like a machine where you replace the quarter with a prayer and get a prize? :eek:

    I've been wrong before though. If this is a Biblical concept, please point it out to me.

    If it's not, why do people pray for it? Shouldn't we be praying that people's hearts are receptive to the Holy Spirit, since it's always there, and active, and Christ SAID he gave it to us, and never mentioned it wasn't fully functional?
     
  2. Tom Butler

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    Gina, this is a good question. Let me take a stab at a comment or two.

    First, I believe it is perfectly fine to pray that God will send the Holy Spirit to demonstrate His presence and power among us. By the very act of praying, one is acknowledging God's Sovereignty (an the HS's sovereignty, as well) and that He has the power to grant our request, or deny it.

    Sometimes, God sends the HS unilaterally. Sometimes he ordains that he will send the HS in response to prayer. And the Holy Spirit will then move us to pray that He will demonstrate His power and presence.


    So should we pray that people will be receptive to the Holy Spirit? In my view, unless the Holy Spirit does His work first, no one will be receptive. It is the Holy Spirit Himself which makes us receptive to His work.

    I agree with you, too, that the Holy Spirit is active, even when we don't know about it. Sometimes we can recognize the Holy Spirit's work only in hindsight.

    Now, let's see what other folks think.

    Tom B.
     
  3. tinytim

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    I agree sith you Gina..
    It always bothers me when people pray that the HS will be with us today, or they invite God in the Worship service.

    WE already have Him with us if we are saved.. each one of us brought him.
     
  4. TaterTot

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    I think we should pray instead that we would be attuned to HIM, - we act as if it should be the other way around
     
  5. npetreley

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    I think it's funny when I hear people "bind satan" in prayer. For all that binding going on, he still seems to get around pretty well.
     
  6. Joseph_Botwinick

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    I hope I am not hijacking this thread with this comment, but this is what always bothered me as a teenager when I read "This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" by Perretti. It always occurred to me that the message he was conveying was a bit heretical; this idea that when Christians don't pray that God and his angels are weakened and unable to intervene in the situations of God's creation...and only is it when the Christians pray that God and his angels are strengthened to do anything about the attacks of the devil and his demons.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  7. genesis12

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    Nice post, Tom.
     
  8. Tom Butler

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    Joseph Botwinick:
    Joseph, this is more than a bit heretical. It's a lot heretical. In addition to denying the sovereignty of God, it comes very close to the underlying philosophy of the Positive Confession movement. That is, God and Satan cannot work in your lives without you. If you speak positive things, God can work. If you speak negative things, you open the door for Satan to move in. It elevates humans as more powerful than either God or Satan, or the angels for that matter.

    Tom B
     
  9. Helen

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    We are all (who are born again believers) indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9) who is in the process of transforming each of us into the likeness of Christ (Romans 8:28-39) and will finish the good work He has started (Phil. 1:6). So He is active -- often whether we like it or not!

    However we can ask Him to intervene in a situation, to clarify it, to keep us aware of His leading, etc. It is incredible to me that God has been willing to allow us to be somewhat sort of partners in His work here, but that is how it is, and our prayers are paid attention to by Him, and He does allow them to open doors through which He will work.

    I am quite sure that that is not because He is unable to without our prayers! But I do think that His willingness to restrain His activity until we pray for help or guidance or whatever is part of His training of us as we are being matured in Him.

    As far as 'binding Satan' goes, his time is coming soon enough! In the meantime, according to Eph. 6, our directions are simply to stand, using the armor given to us by God Himself. Just to stand.
     
  10. Johnv

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    I suppose that's more of a perception than the reality. More often than not, prayer doesn't change things, but instead changes us for things. And I'm okay with that [​IMG]
     
  11. mima

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    Great question; I don't believe we can activate the Holy Spirit by prayer. I also agree that he is always with you and in you all the time if you are saved.And I do not believe in Binding satan. I do believe we should attempt to be in tune with what the Holy Spirit desires as Tatar Tot has suggested. And so the question becomes what can we do to place ourselves in tune with the Holy Spirit. The answer is; listen, try to be sensitive, keep quiet and expect to hear an answer. Not an audible answer but a 6 sense feeling. If you ever have ever once received this feeling you will know when you have it again.
     
  12. Salamander

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    With this in mind, it is true the Holy Ghost is indwelling the believer, but to be in a service where the Holy Ghost is not presently active, is certainly much different when He makes His presence known!
     
  13. Salamander

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    I suppose that's more of a perception than the reality. More often than not, prayer doesn't change things, but instead changes us for things. And I'm okay with that [​IMG] </font>[/QUOTE]I have to admit this, that when others prayed for me to be saved, I didn't really see any difference, except that God made Himself known to me without knowing they were actually praying for me.

    Did their prayers "move" God? Yes! His bowels of mercy were moved, just as Jesus gave us the parable of the unjust judge being wearied by her much coming to him.

    It isn't that the Holy Ghost isn't active, but it sure makes alot of difference the more active He gets! Kinda like molecules have motion, but when things heat up, they get more active!
     
  14. standingfirminChrist

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    Prayers do change things.

    Hezekiah prayed and 15 years were added to his life.

    Jeremiah wrote in Jeremiah 33:3 Call upon me and I will answer thee; and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not.

    God heard the prayers of many of the patriarch's of the Old Testament, and answered those prayers.

    James wrote 'The effectual fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much.
     
  15. Me4Him

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    At church tonight, not one word was preached, but a young girl (16-17) was saved.

    Each member gave a brief testimony of when/where they were saved and the difference it made in their life,

    when you start "bragging on Jesus", the "SPIRIT" will be there.

    Joh 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, (exalted) will draw all men unto me.
     
  16. Salamander

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    A-MEN! It's Scriptural to say it aloud too!
     
  17. Me4Him

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    "AMEN"

    How can we be "IN CHRIST", if Christ is not "IN US"??
     
  18. IveyLeaguer

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    There you go. That's it in a nutshell.

    The Holy Spirit 'moves' as He wills but in this context it's US that's in the way. The problem is always US, not God.
     

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