Topical - Prayer, The Powerful Spiritual Weapon
Praying, what a powerful spiritual weapon prayer is. In the spiritual warfare, prayer is often the deciding factor in the spiritual battle. Praying with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, watching with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
I. Prayer is a Poweful Spiritual Weapon
A. We Are Soldiers in a War (Phil 2:25; 2 Tim.2:3,4)
1. The Christian life is not a playground but a battleground
a) It is not a physical war of flesh and blood.
(1) It is a Spiritual War
(a) Remember when Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus said it was the hour of Darkness (Luke 22:53)
(b) This refers to the forces of evil, the evil one himself.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places (Ephesians 6:11-12).
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love (Colossians 1:13).
(c) We must remember the power of darkness & those who oppose the Lord will last only but a short time (the hour will soon pass).
B. What Do We Need To Do?
1. We need to stand up against the enemy (v.14)
a) To do that we need help.
(1) God has provided all of the help we will ever need.
(2) We are to be strong “in the Lord” and the power of “His might”.
(3) We need to depend on “God’s Strength not ours”.
C. How Does the Enemy Attack Us?
1. The enemy attacks us in many ways.
(1) Fear (2 Timothy1:7)
(3) Anxiety (Philippians 4:6)
(1) Doubt the word of God (Gen. 3:1)
(2) Doubt the love of God (Rom. 5:8)
(3) Doubt the faithfulness of God (2 Tim. 2:13)
D. God Has Provided For us the Armor His Armor
1. We are to be dressed, standing against the enemies attacks
a) Know this:
(1) Satan is always probing to see if there are any chinks in your armor.
(2) He is constantly on the attack (1 Peter 5:8)
(3) He will use anything he can to catch you off guard. Paul refers to the wiles of the devil (Eph.6:11)
(4) He is cunning, clever and relentless in his attacks.
There always comes the time when we must change from a defensive posture in this battle to the offense.
II. The Offensive Attack.
A. Through Prayer we begin to Attack the Enemy
1. Our weapons are mighty in God.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled. (2 Corinthians 10:4-6)
By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, (2 Corinthians 6:6-7)
So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat. Then the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)
By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days. (Hebrews 11:30)
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. "Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, `Get justice for me from my adversary.' "And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, `Though I do not fear God nor regard man, `yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'" Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. "And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? (Luke 18:1-7 NKJV)
2. It is no longer just trying to hold on, but to go on the attack.
These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. (Acts 1:14 NKJV)
And they prayed and said, "You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen (Acts 1:24 NKJV)
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. (Acts 2:42 NKJV)
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. (Acts 3:1 NKJV)
And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: "Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, "who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: `Why did the nations rage, And the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the LORD and against His Christ.' "For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together "to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. "Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, "by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus." And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:23-31 NKJV)
Whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them. (Acts 6:6 NKJV)
B. There is a Spiritual Battle Going on in the Universe.
1. The Kingdom of God / The Kingdom of Darkness
a) Central battleground is on this planet earth (Rev.12:9)
"How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: `I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.' Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit. "Those who see you will gaze at you, And consider you, saying: `Is this the man who made the earth tremble, Who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness And destroyed its cities, Who did not open the house of his prisoners?' (Isaiah 14:12-17 NKJV)
(1) The battle is for the control of men's lives, whether you will be controlled by your flesh or by the Spirit of God.
(2) Like it or not, you and I are at the center of this conflict.
Satan: Satan is called “the great dragon...that old serpent.”
1. His name is Lucifer. He was probably one of the highest angels ever created by God, but he fell because of selfishness and pride (Isaiah 14:12; cp. 1 Tim. 3:6; Rev. 12:3-4; 2 Cor. 4:4; 2 Cor. 11:13-15; 1 Peter 5:8.)
2. He is “an angel of light” with such deceptive and seductive power that even some ministers follow him, ministers who are “transformed as the ministers of righteousness” (2 Cor. 11:14-15).
Satan’s purpose in making war against God is twofold.
1. Satan’s purpose is power and worship.
To receive as much of the power and worship of the universe as possible (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17). He goes about this in three ways.
· He opposes and distrubs God’s work in the world (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-17; Job 1:6; Job 2:1-6; Matthew 4:10; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:8; Rev. 12:7-9).
· He discourages believers through various strategies (see note— Luke 22:31; Ephes. 6:10-12).
· He arouses God’s justice against people by leading people to sin and to deny and rebel against God. And when they do, God’s justice has to act and judge people to the fate of their choice: that of living with Satan eternally ( Matthew 12:25-26; John 13:31-32).
2. Satan’s purpose is to hurt and cut the heart of God. Why?
Because God has judged and condemned him for rebelling against God. Therefore, Satan does all he can to get back at God. The best way he can do this is to turn the hearts of people away from God and lead them to sin and to follow the way of evil. (See notes, }Rev. 12:3-4; Rev. 12:7-9; Rev. 12:10-11).
However, Christ has broken Satan’s power by two acts
1. By never giving in to the devil’s temptation (Matthew 4:1-11) and by never sinning (2 Cor. 5:21). Christ overcame sin. He was righteous; He was perfect.
2. By destroying the devil’s power of death. Christ was not held by physical or spiritual death (Hebrews 2:14-15). He arose and ascended to God’s right hand.
It is for this reason that the Bible says “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4); and again, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31).
C. Prayer is the Deciding Factor
1. In a spiritual battle the only true power is spiritual.
a) You may be the strongest man in the world physically, but be morally weak.
b) With all of your physical strength you are putty in the hands of the enemy.
2. Satan is a spiritual being but his chief weapons against you come in the form of physical attacks.
a) For this he often uses those who are in alignment with him.
b) He is always trying to change the focus of the battle with you into the realm of the physical for he knows there he has a decided advantage (1John 2:15-17)
c) He knows that in the realm of the Spirit, he is already defeated.
3. Satan is holding many lives captive today (2 Tim 2:24-26)
a. He has blinded their eyes so that they are not aware of their true condition (2 Cor.4:3-4)
b. They think that everything is great, that life is a blast, what they do not know is the fact that they are on the edge of eternity ready to enter into a Christless grave.
D. “With all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
1. What is it to pray in the Spirit?
a) Romans 8:26-27
b) Jude speaks of praying in the Holy Spirit.
(1) This means to pray according to the leading of the Spirit
(2) Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven-it is getting God’s will done on earth MATTHEW 6:10
(3) 1 JOHN 5:14-15
(4) BUT FIRST WE NEED TO BUILD OURSELVES UP ON THE FAITH JUDE 20
(5) This means that you STUDY THE WORD OF GOD!
EXAMPLE: You cannot build a house without a foundation, right? After the foundation is laid you will need to put up some timbers that will hold the roof; then you are going to need a roof on it and siding and plaster on the inside. And this is what reading and studying the whole Word of God will do for you.
PAUL URGED US TO STUDY THE WORD OF GOD
2 TIMOTHT 2:15
When President Lincoln had his portrait painted, the artist kept shifting Lincoln around trying to get him at an angle so the wart on his face wouldn’t show. Finally, after he had him adjusted to his satisfaction, he said, “Mr. Lincoln, how do you want me to paint you? Lincoln said, “Paint me just as I am-wart and all.”
There are going to be parts of the Word of God you will not enjoy reading. There are going to be sections that will step on you toes, and you would like to avoid that. But in today’s society, and you being at the age of YOUTH (YOUNG ADULTS) it is NECESSARY to BUILD UP YOURSELVES ON YOUR MOST HOLY FAITH