Seriously? A word study on a preposition? Yes and more yes!
Here’s why: “in” occurs twice in this verse:
“But you, dear friends,
by building yourselves up in your most holy faith
and praying in the Holy Spirit”
But each “in” is different.
(1) The first is a definite article of speech. AKA, this “in” is just highlighting the subject: the building of holy faith.
(2) The second “in” is indeed a preposition, and it pointedly explains our position in prayer.
To be “praying in the Holy Spirit” is to be
(a) in the condition of
(b) in realm of
(c) inside of, alongside of, within
When we pray in the Holy Spirit, we pray in the position of one whose condition is defined by that same Spirit. We pray from alongside the Spirit the Lord sent to help us. As we interact with God by praying in the Holy Spirit, we connect in the terms of His realm, His kingdom, and His will. That’s what Ifeoma was talking about in her post earlier this week.
Praying in the Holy Spirit isn’t so much a long distance call as it is sitting beside our Lord and simply conversing.
This “in” preposition is the same used to describe:
- People being baptized in water = immersed in
- A winnowing fork in the hand of God = held by
- Sickness in people = filled with
- Where God resides in the heavens = dwelling in
- Speaking in parables = formed in
- Having the Word sown in the heart = located in
Just take the verse and fill in with these italicized examples. For instance:
“Praying immersed in the Holy Spirit.”
“In” is a basic word, but it speaks volumes about prayer and our relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Praying that we would be so willing to let the Holy Spirit change our heart condition, set us in place, and come alongside us as we interact with God!
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