We donít always know what to pray for or how to pray for it. I think this is especially true when it comes to praying for revival.
Do you know what kind of revival we should be praying for and what specific things God will do? I know that I couldnít say for sure. I pray for God to manifest Himself as the rain, for Him to send the former and latter rain upon the land, for Him to raise up laborers for His harvest, and many other things that I can pray from Scripture. But I canít say that I know everything that God wants to do in Maine. Do you know? Perhaps if we knew, some of us would be so shocked we might stop praying for revival for a while!
Thank God for the Holy Spirit! One reason we have been given the Holy Spirit is so that we can pray better prayers than we know how to pray! How can we pray better than we know how to pray? By praying in other languages as the Holy Spirit gives us utterance. As the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 14, we pray with our understanding and we pray with the Spirit. So praying in the Spirit has to be something that bypasses our understanding; otherwise there would not be a distinction. Paul refers to praying in tongues Ė languages that you have never learned in the natural.
Romans 8:26 says that the Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered (in articulate speech). By yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to pray through us, we can authorize God to get His specific plans done in the earth without even knowing exactly what they are.
God needs our permission to move on the earth. He does not just do things automatically every time He sees a need. (If that were the case, there would be no needs on the earth because God would just step in and meet them all!) God moves in response to the prayers of His people.
The ability of believers who have been baptized with the Holy Spirit to pray in unknown languages as the Spirit gives them the words provides God with a legal way to accomplish things that are beyond what we would ask or think. By yielding to the Holy Spirit in prayer in this manner, we can ask for things far wiser than we would ask for in English based on our own understanding. Then, because a man on the earth prayed for whatever it is to happen, God now has the legal right to answer that prayer and make it happen.
Back to what Paul told the Romans, the Holy Spirit helps us in our weaknesses Ė in our inability to get the job done in our own understanding. Notice that He is our Helper who helps us. The Holy Spirit was not sent to be our Doer who would do the works that we are supposed to do, including the work of prayer. He is our Helper who Helps us do it. Of course, you could just try to do everything yourself without the Holy Spiritís help, but if you could really get the job done without a Helper, why would God waste His time sending you a Helper? God knows that we need help, so He sent the Helper to help us!
We donít fob it all off on the Holy Spirit and do all our praying in tongues, of course, since 1 Corinthians 14 tells us that we should pray both with the Spirit and with our understanding. Some prayers can be prayed strictly in English, for example the prayer of faith. You can pray and believe you receive something (healing, provision, etc.) completely in English. There is no need to pray in the Spirit to pray the prayer of faith. The person who prays in tongues speaks mysteries (again, see 1 Cor 14 for an in-depth Bible discussion on the topic of tongues), and what God has already promised and declared to be ours in the Word is not a mystery to us. But, especially when we are praying for others, we donít always know all the facts of the situation Ė but the Holy Spirit does. We can pray a perfect prayer about a situation in other languages without even having to fully understand the situation. Sometimes weíll be led to pray and we wonít know ANYTHING about the situation, yet God can still pray a perfect prayer through us by the Holy Spirit as we yield to Him.