The Holy Spirit, Satan, And Prayer

Q. One of my church leaders said that we need to be baptized in the Holy Spirit (or laying of hands) frequently to renew and rekindle the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit can also be diminished or leave us completely due to our sin or actions. He also said not all our prayers to God reach Him due to interference by satanic forces. To be frank I am doubtful about these statements. What does the Bible say?

A. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit was not sealed within believers, so He could come and go, even departing completely, as with Saul (1 Sam 16:14). Also God told Jeremiah to stop praying for the Israelites because He wasn’t listening to them any more (Jeremiah 11:14). This was in the context of the coming Babylonian conquest which God had already determined to bring.

But in the New Testament, this is not the case. The Holy Spirit is sealed within us as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephes. 1:13-14) until the day of redemption (Ephes. 4:30) . It’s true that our sins can cause a temporary rift in our fellowship with God, but all we have to do is confess our sins to purify ourselves from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). That’s why I believe we should begin every prayer with a request for forgiveness.

The only place where the New Testament speaks of our prayers being hindered is in 2 Peter 3:7 where husbands risk this by failing to show proper respect for their wives. There’s nothing in the New Testament to suggest that Satan can hear, disrupt or prevent the prayers of a believer. If he could, he could prevent our prayers of confession or even salvation.

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