The passage below is from Gordon Fee’s book God’s Empowering Presence. Here he’s discussing Paul’s direction in the “Armor of God” passage (in Ephesians chapter six) for believers to be “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit…”
Fee points out that, “Paul considered prayer to be above all an activity that empowered by the Spirit.”
Prayer–an activity empowered by the Spirit. The Holy Spirit should empower our praying. Is that your experience?
Fee helps us see more in Ephesians 6:18 too…
It also indicates the crucial role the Spirit plays in our continuing “warfare” against Satan. For Paul, the concern was not only that they be clothed with the armor that Christ provides in the gospel, but that they take the enemy on by Spirit-embowered proclamation and by Spirit-inspired praying. The context is that of conflict, warfare against “the prince of darkness grim”; only “praying in the Spirit” will suffice in such conflict.
Perhaps we should note further that the feeble prayers of God’s people, spoken in their own strength and often in desperation, while [it is true that they are] heard on high, [they] are surely not the stuff of “routing the foe.” Because we do not know how to pray as we ought, we need to lean more heavily on “praying in/by the Spirit,” however one is to understand that phrase.
Prayer is not simply our cry of desperation or our “grocery list” of requests that we bring before our heavenly Abba; prayer is an activity inspired by God himself, through his Holy Spirit. It is God siding with his people and, by his own empowering presence, the Spirit of God himself bringing forth prayer that is in keeping with God’s will and his ways.
I don’t know about you, but I find these thoughts to be an encouragement to press deeper into what God has for us in prayer.