What is prayer like for you? Do you spend much time praying? And when you pray, what do you actually do? How much do you talk? How much do you listen?
As we continue our series through Jude 17-25, we’re learning how to be ready for Jesus to return, and the next practice Jude teaches is in verse 20: we should pray in the Holy Spirit.
One author I read says this: “The person who has the Spirit of God within him (that is to say, every Christian), the person who is led by the Holy Spirit in his prayers as in all else, will certainly pray in the Spirit. It is he who utters within us the distinctive Christian address to God as ‘Abba’ or ‘Father’ (Rom. 8:15).”
So how do we pray in the Holy Spirit? Be observant about the Spirit’s work in your life. Learn to listen to him, which is not always natural or easy, but can take practice. It means opening up space in our life to listen. For me I have been convicted about this recently, and I have been using Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God” as a guide. I’ll set a timer for 10 minutes, and just be still, and think about God. I ask him how he is doing. I try to avoid telling him how I’m doing, what I want, and instead listen.
Listening means learning to be observant. At our sermon roundtable one person told the story of a medical school professor who brought a cup on urine to class. He held it up to the class, explained that it was urine, dipped his finger in it, and then sucked on a finger. The students were disgusted. But then the prof said that a major hurdle they need to get over is being repulsed by bodily fluids, or they won’t make it in the medical profession. So he passed the urine sample around class asking students to smell it and taste it. There were many grimaces and laughter as the urine went around class, wrinkling noses and souring their tongues. But then when the urine made its way back to the prof, he revealed he had dipped his pointer finger in the urine and sucked on his middle finger. He said that what he really wanted to teach them was observation. They would have known what he did if they were paying close attention. Observation is vital in any situation, and likewise as we listen for God’s Spirit to speak. So Jude reminds us to pray in the Spirit, and that means we need to spend time observing how God might be at work, or might be speaking to us.
Also another excellent way to pray in the Spirit is to pray the scripture in your prayers. That starts with reading and thinking about a section of the Bible, asking the Spirit to help you understand it. In 1 Corinthians 2:12 Paul says that we have the Spirit of God within us to help us understand what he has given us. Also, as we read a section of Scripture we can pray that the Spirit can help us apply it to our life.
This takes time, space, and practice. So how will you open up that space for quiet listening to God in your life?
 Michael Green, 2 Peter and Jude: An Introduction and Commentary, vol. 18, Tyndale New Testament Commentaries (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1987), 213.