Today's Foundations Devotionals: Spirit-empowered prayer: the fire upon the altar
… in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of
promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of
the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
The Holy Spirit indwelling the believer in the New Testament corresponds to the fire supernaturally kindled upon the altar of the tabernacle in the Old Testament.
Concerning this fire, the Lord ordained:
A perpetual fire shall burn on the altar; it shall never go out (Lev. 6:13).
The corresponding New Testament ordinance is contained in the words of Paul:
“Pray without ceasing ... Do not quench the Spirit.”
Where the Spirit-baptised believer yields full control to the Spirit within and does not by carelessness or carnality quench the Spirit’s fire, there burns within the temple of that believer’s body a fire of supernatural prayer and worship which never goes out, day or night.
Few people realise the limitless potentialities of Holy Spirit prayer within the temple of a believer’s yielded body.
Some years ago, when I conducted regular street meetings in London, England, a young woman of Catholic background from Ireland was saved and baptised in the Holy Spirit.
She was working as a maid in a London hotel, and she shared a bedroom there with another young woman of her own age and background.
One day this other woman came to her and said, “Tell me, what is that strange language you speak to yourself every night in bed after you seem to have gone to sleep?”
“I can’t tell you that,” the first young woman answered, “because I never even knew that I was speaking any language.”
In this way she learned to her surprise that every night after she had gone to sleep, without the conscious exercise of her own faculties, she was speaking with other tongues as the Holy Spirit gave her utterance.
So it is to be filled with and yielded to the Holy Spirit.
When we come to the end of our own natural strength and understanding, the Holy Spirit can take over our faculties and conduct His own worship and prayer through us.
This is the picture given of the bride of Christ in the Song of Solomon.
I sleep, but my heart is awake (5:2).
The bride may sleep; she may be physically and mentally exhausted.
But in the innermost depths of her being there dwells One who never slumbers or sleeps – the Holy Spirit Himself.
Even through the hours of darkness there burns upon the altar of her heart a fire that never goes out – a fire of worship and prayer that is the life of the Holy Spirit within.
This is the Bible pattern for the prayer life of the church in this present age.
But such a life of prayer is possible only through the supernatural, indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Jesus, thank You so much for never extinguishing the fire of Your
Holy Spirit on the altar of my heart in my life. Help me, Lord, to keep the
constant prayer and worship from my heart always burning. Amen.