Do you have sins that keep rising to the surface? Impatience, addictions, sarcastic mouth, lust… And have you prayed to God for victory? And do the problems persist anyway?

I have.

But it doesn’t make sense that God would leave us wallowing in these sins that overcome us. Do we pray wrong?

Over the last two months I have come to realize this is true! We pray wrong!

“But the spiritual nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There are no laws against things like that. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and desires. If we live by our spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature.” (Galatians 5:22-25 God’s Word ©)

When we pray for self-control over addictions and lust we are praying wrongly. When we plead with God for patience and a gentleness that would not express itself sarcastically we pray a prayer to which God cannot answer “Yes”. When we fall on our knees at night and beg Jesus for a goodness that would wash our mouths before we speak God must refuse.

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) the noted South African spiritual teacher

Andrew Murray (1828-1917) the noted South African spiritual teacher


The spiritual nature (also translated “fruit of the Spirit”) comes from Paraclete, not our earnest prayers.

Pray to be filled with the Spirit. Crucify yourself to Christ. Let life always be God’s case, not yours.

When we walk in the Spirit, Paraclete produces fruit (a spiritual nature). If we pray for a spiritual nature before we learn humility, before we surrender to the Big Boss, then an answer of “Yes” from Almighty God would cause us to brag about our success. Yes, we would. Don’t try to fool me; I’ve heard hundreds of Christians brag about their successes in evangelism, prayer…

When we pray to overcome our sins we focus on ourselves!!! How can God answer “Yes” to a prayer that breaks the first commandment?

I’ve been reading Andrew Murray (some more, this time “The Spiritual Life”) and his teaching on this hits the centre of the target.

Holding nothing back, filled with Paraclete, focussed on Creator and seeking the Realm of God first simply means God, through Paraclete, can do what God intends for you – to be a witness of God at work (not you at work for God).