Faithlife Sermons

Prayer in the Battlefield

Notes
Transcript
Introduction
What does a believer in Christ need to maintain proper relationship with God?
There exists many disciplines that are important in helping us maintain and grow our faith in Jesus Christ.
These disciplines include Bible study, giving, serving, evangelism, and the such.
Spiritual disciplines are essential in facing the battlefield of spiritual warfare.
In the past several weeks we talked about the Armor of God identified in Ephesians 6.
In Ephesian 6:18-19, the Scripture tells us something that is absolutely necessary to face the enemy and the challenges we face in life.
Text
Ephesians 6:18–19 ESV
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, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Main Point and Transition
Paul ceases to use the metaphors of a Roman soldier—and goes directly to an important activity of the believer in Christ: PRAYER.
There are two things that I want to draw your attention concerning the two verses that I have just read to you.
First, the instruction to the believer is to pray. But this praying is hinged to the previous elements of the Armor of God.
In other words, what the Scripture is calling us to do is that we are to put on each piece of armor WITH PRAYER.
Without prayer, we will misunderstand or misuse the elements needed to engage in spiritual warfare.
Without prayer, we become ineffective in the battle.
Second, the word “all” is used four times in verse 18.
“Praying at ALL times...”
“with ALL prayer and supplication.”
“Keep alert with ALL perseverance...”
“making supplication for ALL the saints...”
One theologian put it this way: “Nothing less is suggested than that the life and strife of the saints be one great prayer to God, that this prayer be offered in ever new forms however good or bad the circumstances, and that this prayer not be self-centered but express the need and hope of all the saints.”
In other words, every incident of life is to be dealt with in prayer.
Main idea: Prayer makes the difference in how you will live your life and face the battles and challenges of life.
This morning, I want to show you five reasons we cannot make it without prayer.

Prayer helps you let go.

We hold on to things too much: anger, fear, stress, discouragement, pain.
These emotions become so heavy, we sink.
1 Peter 5:6–7 ESV
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
Prayer is when you begin to understand the attributes of God and seek after those things.
His righteousness, love, knowledge, wisdom, truthfulness, holiness are just some of the attributes of God that can add faith to our prayers.
There is nothing that is beyond the reach and touch of God!

Prayer acknowledges human inability.

Prayer will help you to understand that you cannot fix everything and that you are not the sum total of everything that takes place in the world.
Prayer helps you to see the big picture by showing you how small you are in God’s plan and purpose.
It does not matter how great you are, how much money you have, how much education you have, have much clout and position you have, you need to pray!
Prayer anchors itself in God. Our hope is in God. . . . not in all the answers that the world would attempt to offer to me.

Prayer is the way to divine direction.

Proverbs 3:5–6 ESV
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Prayer, along with God’s Word, helps to discover God’s direction for your live.
When Moses was interceding for the people of Israel, he prayed:
Exodus 33:13 ESV
13 Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
The Lord’s prayer. . . Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
The will of God has been taken care of in heaven but the challenge is getting the will up there. . . down here.
That is the whole challenge of prayer, learning how to pray in such a manner that you are not in control but rather that God is in control.
Prayer causes you to turn loose of that old nature to want to manipulate things in life.
There are some who get to pouting when God doesn’t answer their prayer in the exact manner that they think it ought to be done.
But if you can ever relent to the will of God, all will ultimately turn out for the best.
God is not to be manipulated by our fleshly whims.
You have to make up in your mind that you are going to serve the Lord no matter what!

Prayer strengthens relationship with God.

Far too many have a relationship with a church, with a preacher, with a movement, or with a group.
Prayer gets way beyond that, it causes you to be able to hear the voice of God for yourself.
Hebrews 4:14–16 ESV
14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Prayer changes me.

False notion: I can change God—I can manipulate God—God will do what I say.
God is sovereign—Prayer does not change God, it changes us.
2 Chronicles 7:14 ESV
14 if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
You are God’s child. As such, He wants to bless you.
The blessing are available to you.
But these blessings are conditional.
Call on God (pray)
Humble yourself
Seek God (Jer. 29:11)
Turn from your wicked ways (repentance)
THEN…forgiveness and healing.
Conclusion
Story of Angela Rhoadarmer
God does not do "coincidences!" I choose to call them God incidences.....tonight my brother and I went for a short walk to try to get me a little exercise after the chemo treatment.
A couple that was out walking came upon us from behind and we moved aside because we were walking a little slower than my normal pace. They thought that we might have lost something because we pulled off the path for them. They asked where we were from and we had a short conversation revealing only that I was here for treatment for cancer. They had just moved to KC from a nearby suburb. This beautiful woman then immediately asked if she could pray for me, right there in Hyde Park on the walking path. She and her husband then prayed a most wonderful prayer for someone that they did not even know. We parted and then she returned to us once more and shared with me a word that she felt the Lord had impressed upon her heart. What a blessing this stranger was in a city that I do not know. But God knows me, He knows her, and we will meet again one day, whether here or in Heaven. This beautiful God incidence made my day. Thank you Anna and Brian for your prayers tonight. This divine appointment was just what my spirit needed to make it through another day of treatment!
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