For the past few weeks we have been reminded that as followers of Jesus we are in the midst of a spiritual battle (Ephesians 6:10-17).
Today we will look at the fact that prayer is to be the main weapon in spiritual warfare and is therefore the Christians most powerful resource (Ephesians 6:18-20).
James Montgomery Boice – “Our secret resource is prayer. And what makes it so important is that the weakest Christian can at any period of his life at any moment of the day and in any circumstance cry out to God for help and instantly have the resources of the infinite, sovereign God at his disposal.”
In this passage we see 4 exhortations to pray…
We are to Pray at ALL times…
This means that we should pray on all occasions – There is nothing that can’t be prayed for and nothing prayer can’t overcome.
When do you pray?
We are to do this “in the Spirit.”
The Holy Spirit is our helper and our intercessor.
We are to Pray with ALL Prayer and Supplication…
E. Stanley Jones – “Prayer is aligning ourselves with the purposes of God.”
Models of prayer…
Philippians 4:6-7 – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
We are to Pray with ALL Perseverance
We are to Pray ALWAYS (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
This speaks to intensity not frequency.
This does not mean that prayer is the only thing we do; instead, it means that prayer is to be a natural and regular part of our lives.
Oswald Chambers – “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
We are to Pray for ALL the Saints
Again we are reminded about the need to pray for others.
Paul offers himself as an example…
Who are the prayer warriors in your life?
On whose behalf do you regularly intercede?
– Conclusion (Ephesians 6:21-24)
Paul’s mind was still on prayer as he closes his letter.
The results of prayer.
The praying Christian is calling upon the inexhaustible and irresistible power of God.
William Cowper – “When we don’t pray, we quit the fight. Prayer keeps the Christian’s armor bright. And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”
What questions do you still have about the spiritual battle we are engaged in?
What does it mean to you to “pray without ceasing?” How can you better develop this habit in your life?
In what ways do you see prayer empowering the picture of the armor of God that Paul shares in Ephesians 6:13-17?
Read the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13). What similarities do you see between Jesus’ instructions on prayer and the things we discussed today?
Put today’s message into practice by spending some time in prayer. Who are some of the “saints” you can pray for? What is an area of your life where you need prayer?