Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 122 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer.

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 122 - Essential qualities of leadership: Prayer.


Announcements / opening prayer:



God really wants me to teach you (and me) about prayer. This has become so very obvious the last two days. He is preparing us for whatever is to come and we're going to need prayer. Don't become afraid, get excited!


ROM 8:26

And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how [what] to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;


"in the same way" - ROM 8:18-25


ROM 8:23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan [sigh as a result of deep concern or stress] within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.


The CWL is not one of constant daydreaming about heaven, but in preparing for the day in which we present to the Lord the very glory that He worked through us.


In order to reveal this fact we turned to 1PE 1:3-21.


1PE 1:13 Therefore, gird [get ready, prepare, and be alert] your minds for action, keep sober in spirit [glorify Him in time despite not having seen Him and suffering for His sake], fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.


It is not physical exertion that Peter has in mind here, but mental. Girding up of the loins of the mind would be the putting out of the mind all that would impede the free action of the mind in connection with the onward progress of the Christian experience, things such as worry, fear, jealousy, hate, unforgiveness, impurity. These things harbored in the mind prevent the Holy Spirit from using the mental faculties of the Christian in the most efficient manner, and thus from causing that believer to grow in the Christian life and so be more and more ready for action. By putting them out we are preparing for action with the Holy Spirit. The word "to gird up" is in the aorist tense which refers to a past once-for-all act. The living hope means that we do not get discouraged and that we fight on!


Fix your hope completely means that we have a complete and perfect hope that is wanting in nothing. There is no need to doubt it. Gird up and get going!


1PE 1:14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,


1PE 1:15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;


1PE 1:16 because it is written [LEV 11:44-45], "You shall be holy, for I am holy."


1PE 1:17 And if you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each man's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay upon earth;


1PE 1:18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,


1PE 1:19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.


1PE 1:20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you


1PE 1:21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.


So it's not all daydreaming about heaven, we are to keep sober in spirit and gird our minds for action. There are many preparations to be made as we draw closer to the time when we will see Him face to face.


ROM 8:24 For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one also hope for what he sees?


ROM 8:25 But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.


With hope comes patience. This is more than the faint realization that we are not meant for this earth, but the well instructed hope of the redemption of our bodies.


When we are babes in the Christian way of life we have a general hope of eternal life and a new and very young uneasiness in this world. But as we grow and mature in the knowledge of God, His plans and purposes for the cosmos, our union with Christ, and our quest for sanctification in this world, our hope matures as well, becoming more honed and clear.


Now, with the context of the next verse understood, we can much more understand the groanings of the Holy Spirit in interceding for us.


ROM 8:26 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;


The creation groans, we groan within ourselves, and here the Holy Spirit groans also within us. Our Adamic nature is not interested in groaning. It wants to deny the need for it and look upon everything as being in good condition and evolving and getting better, closing its eyes to the contrary.


The word weakness is in the singular.


We have one great weakness and infirmity, which is our total inability to do anything for ourselves or for the creation in which we live, but this is not exactly what the Spirit has in mind here.


But this is not exactly the weakness that the Spirit is speaking of here, though it is related. He is not helping our flesh. The flesh can't be helped. The solution to the flesh was only crucifixion.


Man has always found it natural to pray for certain things to god or a god that is convenient at the time. The false gods are not gods. Even if it is the true God, ignorance of Him and His plan makes many prayers selfish and filled with things that are against His will.


Fallen man is far too weak to actually know how to pray.


MAT 6:9

"Pray, then, in this way:


Yet we must conclude that verse 26 is not stating that the Spirit is helping our fleshliness. In other words, we are not praying from the flesh and the Spirit is helping that. If that were true then it wouldn't matter what we prayed for, how we prayed, and our motivation and knowledge of the will of God wouldn't matter either.


The weakness of vs. 26 is relative to the strength we will have in both mind, soul, and body in our resurrection bodies in heaven.


God  calls us holy and perfect and we truly are, but that doesn't mean that we have certain limitations that will be gone when our bodies are redeemed, and so we groan within ourselves.


But yet we find, God's grace is sufficient for us and this weakness provides the backdrop for the exhibition of the splendor of divine power.


We must see that alone the work is not only difficult but impossible. We realize that our flesh is nothing but rebellious and filled with constant pride. It is slothful and self-indulgent. So how are we to do anything divinely ordained? So we put away the flesh and live in the new creature, but still we are weak to an extent. Weakness is always a relative term. If we describe something as weak we are comparing it to something that we think is stronger. A metal beam is strong, but  under a big enough load it will fail. We would say it was too weak. When we pray properly we are praying from the new creature and under the power of the Holy Spirit. This passage is not saying to us that we can pray in the flesh and the Spirit will help that weakness. The new creature is miles stronger than the flesh, but in this body and in this world it is not as strong as it will be when it is in a resurrection body in heaven. And so, even when we are walking in the plan of God there is a relative weakness that the Spirit is helping. When I am weak I am strong because I am relying upon Him fully.


The Holy Spirit helps our weakness. We set out in hope - confidence that we will do what the Lord has commanded us to and with our faces set like flint to do it and all the while trusting in God the Holy Spirit to work through us to accomplish it. All the while we are relying completely on God.


The Lord said:


JOH 15:5

"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.


If we wish the Lord to work in our lives, there must be clear recognition of sovereign grace. We must realize our weakness and helplessness. We must see our atmosphere of difficulty and the impossibility of the work.


But with the Lord, all things are possible. This must be our constant battle cry.


We know that we have been elected in Christ and that our faith is in Him to deliver us from all things, but we are still troubled by many infirmities and are very far from being rid of them. The provision from God for this is the Holy Spirit who indwells us. The infirmities are not to control us. When He fully influences our souls He testifies of Christ, of our adoption as sons, and He takes the things that are Christ's and the Father's and discloses them to us. We do fall, get confused, tired, weak, but we recover and don't ever quit. We conquer through the One who has conquered.


2CO 4:8-10

we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.


 JOH 16:14-15

"He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said, that He takes of Mine, and will disclose it to you."


ROM 8:26 And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;


He helps our weakness and teaches us how to pray as we pray filled with Him and He intercedes for us.


We don't always know the precise words or the order in which they should be uttered, but the Spirit helps this weakness. His groanings overtake our own and they are always in harmony with the will of God.