The Spirit-filled Prayer Life

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…”A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”

The old chief simply replied,
The one you feed.

We learn from this parable that in order to foster an effective Spirit-filled prayer life the evil wolf needs to be starved and the good wolf needs to be nurtured. The good wolf in this case would be the spiritual side of your life. Any dialog on the subject of our spiritual lives should include prayer and an understanding of the Holy Spirit’s involvement in this crucial spiritual discipline. The Holy Spirit was given specifically to help us to know, to grow and to show Gods grace to all mankind (John 14:26, Acts 1:8). In order to know, grow and show God’s grace, three cyclical characteristics need to be developed and maintained.

Empty yourself.

A cup already full cannot be filled again unless it is emptied. This may sound simplistic but the spiritual ramifications are profound. Often times we come to God filled with preconceived notions or ideas that are contrary to the heart of God. If you come to God already filled you’ll have little room for what the Holy Spirit wants to give you. So we must empty ourselves of ourselves and starve what the old chief called the evil wolf—also know as the flesh. Doing so will allow God to have full access to your life to fill you and use you.

Fill yourself.

Speaking to a large audience, the bible scholar and evangelist D.L. Moody held up a glass and asked, ‘How can I get the air out of this glass?” One man shouted, ”Suck it out with a pump!” Moody replied, ‘‘that would create a vacuum and shatter the glass.” After numerous other suggestions Moody smiled, picked up a pitcher of water, and filled the glass. ”There,” he said, ”all the air is now removed.” He then went on to explain that victory in the Christian life is not accomplished by ”sucking out a sin here and there,” but by being filled with the Holy Spirit.

Moody’s object lesson clearly illustrated that filling oneself with the Spirit of God is the only way to be victorious over sin and its effects in our lives. (Romans 8:5-11)

Pour yourself out.

Isaiah 58:10 says it best: “if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah’s prophetic promise is predicated on the act of pouring ourselves out for others. This is our true witness of the Spirit of Christ working in us to demonstrate Gods love for the world. We become the salt and light of the world only when we do so.

Once you have emptied, filled, and poured yourself out; you are ready to start the cycle all over again. Each time experiencing greater encounters with God which leads to becoming a more effective witness of Christ!


“3 Timeless Parables Offer Entrepreneurs Wisdom for Meeting Challenges Today.” Entrepreneur. N.p., 10 Feb. 2015. Web. 20 May 2015.

“Monthly Issues Archives | Today in the Word.” Today in the Word. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Sept. 1991.

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