Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplications. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplications for all the saints. Ephesians 6:18 ESV
To pray in the Spirit, one must be a Christian. This is not implying that a person who is not a Christian is not able to pray, for that would not be true. God hears the the prayers of all who pray; but to pray in the spirit, you must have the Spirit of Christ in your heart. (Read Romans 8:1-11 concerning life in the Spirit.) The purpose of praying in the Spirit is to pray in harmony to the will of God. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groaning too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8: 26-28 ESV
PRAYING AT ALL TIMES:
Praying at all times does not mean to be only hidden away in a closet somewhere on our knees, but also a lifestyle, communicating to God our love for Him. To have a conversation with another person, one needs to be in their presence or have the means by which to communicate. The Spirit is the means which enables us to experience the presence of God and communicate with Him in accordance with His will.
I DO believe that a closet time in which we verbalize our prayers and listen is important, but we also need to communicate our love for God with our lives. Praying / saying the words, “God, we glorify your name,” is important, but living on purpose as a Christian will cause our life to match our words. The old saying, “ Action speaks louder than words,” applies well here. Jesus said it this way to the Pharisees, “This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Matthew 15:8 ESV Living on purpose is not keeping a list of rules in order to show we are Christians; it is loving God the way Jesus taught. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all you soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12: 30 ESV ….. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells WITH YOU and WILL BE IN YOU. John 14: 15-17 ESV To think a person needs to keep a set of rules to be loved by God is wrong theology. God already loves us more than we can imagine. We keep his commandments to show how much we love Him. We live in a state of prayer in all we say and in the way we walk / live for Him.
KEEPING ALERT WITH PERSEVERANCE:
ALERT: the state of being watchful for possible danger.
PERSEVERANCE: steadfastness in doing something, despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
Over the last few weeks we have studied each piece of the spiritual armor that we are to put on and why….
That you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:11
We are to ….. give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:27 ESV
We are to watch for danger….. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8 ESV
Jesus gave us the greatest example of perseverance when he said upon the cross… “It is finished.” John 19:30 ESV… and calling out with a loud voice said, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit! Luke 23:46 ESV Jesus the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 ESV Life can, at times, seem like a race in which we can grow so weary, but we must, as Paul, persevere to the end. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 ESV
MAKING SUPPLICATIONS FOR ALL THE SAINTS:
SUPPLICATION…. the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly. In our verbal prayers to the Lord, we need to be making requests and interceding for fellow believers by asking for God’s blessings in their life. This is one of the ways we can fulfill the will of God, by caring for and loving each other enough to pray for one another. We as Christians are all dressing in the same spiritual armor for the same reason… to stand. There is power in prayer, and we should never neglect to build each other up in this power from God to overcome sin. In this way we can defend each other in our battle against all the devil will bring against us. Paul, in his writings, asked many times that fellow believers would pray for him. (Colossians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:25, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Hebrews 13:18,) Paul also reminded many of those to whom he was writing that he was praying for them. (Colossians 1:3, Colossians 1:9, 2 Thessalonians 1:11, Philemon 1:4 ) May we never forget to pray for each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Love God on purpose with your actions and thoughts by following Christ’s example. Be imitators of God, as beloved children, And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1 ESV To do this effectively, you must study and learn as much as you can about the love of God. Love is a choice, and you need to know how to choose wisely. Secondly, commit to pray for fellow believes this week. You may want to take 5 or maybe 10 fellow believers a day and pray for them. Start with the ones you know best and pray for the specific needs in their lives and then pray for those who you may not know so well asking for blessings and strength in their lives. In doing so you are learning the love of God for others and you will personally experience a blessing in your walk with God.
Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David