September 7-8, 2019. Ephesians 6:18. Stand part 11: Stand in Prayer.

Ephesians 6:18. praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,

Paul wraps up his call for us to put on the full armor of God with a call to prayer. But why isn’t prayer a piece of the armor? So far everything that we have put on or taken as armor has been a gift from God. It has all been of him and from him.

God’s truth.

God’s righteousness.

God’s peace.

God’s faith.

God’s salvation.

God’s word.

And now comes our response.

Pray.

At all times – there is never a season in your life when the battle is not raging. Even in what we might call the times of “plenty” or the “good times.” These may be the times when we are most susceptible to the flaming darts of the Devil. Our guard is down. We are coasting. The temptation to pride and self-righteousness grows. So pray all the more in these times. Pray without ceasing.

For all kinds of things –  There is nothing in your life that God does not care about. Cast your cares on him. He is a good father. He is listening. He will respond with just what you need exactly when you need it.

With all perseverance – Never quit on God. Never quit on prayer. Often our prayers are “one and done.” No follow up. No crying out. No desperation. Prayer is like a woman begging a judge for justice over and over and over until he listens to her because he’s worn out. Prayer is a mother following Jesus begging for table scraps. Prayer is knocking on a neighbor’s door in the middle of the night until he answers. Prayer is a war. A war for your heart. Persevere. Stand. Don’t stop praying, for when you do you have stopped fighting.

For all the saints – Pray for the kingdom. Pray for the saints in Christ both near and far. Pray for your church and pray for churches you’ve never been to in countries you will never visit. Pray for the people in your small group, your class, your bible study, your pastors and church leaders, your church family and spiritual friends. Pray that they will stand.

John Stott says that we pray some of the time, for some of the things, for some of the people. How would our lives change if we turned the some into all? It’s a good question.

Before he could start Evan had to talk to God, that’s prayer. Sort of. Keep reading. 

The armor is WHAT we stand in, but prayer is HOW we stand. All this armor without prayer is pointless. Prayer is how we fight. How we engage the Enemy. How we overcome evil with good. It all starts with prayer. With an experience of living with God face to face. Knowing his heart and mind. Trusting his goodness and grace. Praising his name and petitioning the riches of his blessings in Christ.

And so the most important thing to remember in prayer is to pray in the Spirit. Your prayers are useless without this. The Spirit is life. The Spirit is love. The Spirit is power. The Spirit is agency.

The Spirit is the Spirit of Christ.

And so we have put on the armor of Christ and now we must pray in Christ. Pray according to Christ and his life. Pray according to the cruciform life. Pray for self-sacrificing love. Pray for the embrace of suffering for the cause of Christ. Pray for life through the putting off of sin. Pray for resurrection through substitution. Pray that all things in heaven and earth are brought under the authority of Jesus Christ. Pray for a knowledge of the love of Christ. Pray for the fullness of God and the filling of the Spirit. Pray for growth into Christ, who is our head. Pray for a walk that is worthy of our calling in Christ Jesus. Pray that our lives will expose evil by the presence of our light. Pray for an experience of every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.

Pray for “to live is Christ.”

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