Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:13-18, esv
How To Pray – Vs18
1. In All Things; PrAY: Is Paul telling us to never stop “saying prayers”? How would a person actually do that in the real world?
“…praying at all times…” is a call to remember that prayer is the key power source in every situation you face, rather than a call to never stop offering prayers.
Truth Point: whatever life may throw at you, whatever temptation, trial or challenge may seek to overtake you, prayer in that moment is key to handling that situation, empowering the armor of God to protect you.
Take a moment to consider… what mountain threatens your peace, what trail is trying to throw you off the position of victory and freedom Jesus won for you? Whatever it is, prayer in that moment, in relationship to that issue, is the “go-to” posture that will empower the amour of God to keep you STANDING.
2. Pray in The Spirit: is NOT pointing us to an altered state of consciousness where The Holy Spirit takes over our mind and will and utters the right words through our mouth.
Truth Point: Praying in the Spirit involves us being in “concert with” The Holy Spirit. Being sensitive to His promptings, committed to following His will, as it pertains to offering our prayers to God.
Far from wanting to take over our mind and will The Spirit is committed to assisting us in our prayers. Romans 8:26-27
When you are about to pray concerning an issue you face, perhaps the first request you make should be for The Spirit’s guidance as you pray. Ask Him to interact with your spirit, leading your thoughts and words to reflect the nature and will of Christ in whose name you pray.
3. Utilize all forms of Prayer: is what Paul is getting at when he says …with all prayer and supplication.
Prayer is manifested in many forms:
Prayer = proseuchē = general requests.
Bless me today Father as I seek to live as You would have me too…
Supplication = deēsis = specific requests.
I have an important meeting today Father. I ask You bless me with discernment and wisdom so I that I may make decisions according to Your will.
Intercession = enteuxis = to speak to someone on behalf of someone else.
Father I bring to you my friend Fred. You know how he is suffering with temptation to quit on his marriage. Give him strength to persevere, faith to forgive and love to be restored in his relationship.
Thanksgiving = eucharistia = to express gratitude for blessings received.
Thank you Father for the provisions you make for me each day… my family, spouse, job, home, food… everything I enjoy comes from Your hand. Thank You God for supplying.
Truth Point: Satan attacks from every point of our lives, so prayers of thanksgiving and intercession can be just as effective in defeating Satan’s attack as the specific requests of supplication.
It has been said that “prayer” changes things.
It should be said that “praise” changes things as well.
Be Alert & Stick to It
The instruction on ALERTNESS harkens back to Jesus’ teaching His disciples to “…watch and pray…” Matthew 26
Truth Point: Since believers are always on the spiritual battlefield, there is a need to be vigilant about spiritual threats, and to pray when trouble presents itself.
The threat is real, the battle is waging, the enemy never gives up and often uses the illusion of things going well to lull us into complacency and prayerlessness.
Coupled with alertness, is perseverance… a never give up attitude.
In his gospel, Luke records Jesus’ teaching on prayer in response to the disciples request to learn more about it. Luke 11:1-10
Truth Point: When it comes to prayer, we are to pray until we receive what we ask for, or until The Spirit prompts us to stop praying.
Perseverance coupled with Alertness is part of the wartime stance we assume as we live as citizens of God’s Kingdom in a fallen, cursed world.
Join me in this exercise: look over the past week and analyze what direction most of your prayers have taken… an inward, self-direction or an outward, others-direction?
MAKE NO MISTAKE: there is nothing wrong with praying for ourselves. we care encouraged to cast all of OUR cares upon God for He cares for us. 1 Peter 5:7 There is something wrong when the direction of our prayers are exclusively focused on self.
Paul exhorts us to …make supplication (specific requests) for all the saints…
Truth Point: The only way we can make “specific requests” for our fellow believers is to be interested in what’s going on in their life and acknowledge that their well-being is as important as our own.
Not just their health, safety and financial well-being, but more importantly their spiritual well-being:
their ability to GROW in Christ,
to MATURE in the Word,
to STAND against the deceitful attacks of Satan,
to be EFFECTIVE in their testimony of the grace of God to their family and friends.
Paul, who was in prison when he wrote to the Ephesian believers, thought it more important that believers pray for his boldness and effectiveness in proclaiming the gospel, than to pray for his vindication and release.
In fact, VS20 shows us that he understood this was God’s will for him. That he had been appointed to be Christ’s ambassador in his imprisonment. In the face of great temptation to shut up and stop declaring the gospel, in hope that it might gain him an early release, he asks the saints to pray for him that his ministry might be more effective and bold.
Question: What might happen if we were to change our praying from health, safety and financial stability …to prayers of boldness and effectiveness in taking the gospel to our family, neighbors and city?
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