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Prayer

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                                              Ephesians 6:18-20

Introduction:  Does God listen when you pray?  Paul seemed to think that God listened to the Ephesian Church even in their sins.  I think it is fair to imply that He hears us, no matter how sinful we may be.

I. Prayer

     A. προσευχῆ:  to speak to or to make requests of God; to pray, to speak to God, to ask God for, prayer.

     B. δέησις:  that which is asked with urgency based on presumed need; request, plea, prayer

     C. There are 7 different Greek words that can be translated prayer.

     D. The emphasis is not on two different words, but “prayer” used 4 times

     E. To battle evil we must put on the characteristics he mentions in the previous verses, but we cannot fight alone, we need God’s help.

II. How we are to pray    vs. 18

     A. In all times – circumstances, occasions, every opportunity, every time it is appropriate to pray

     B. In spirit

          1. Jude 20   But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.

          2. Pentecostals claim this refers to praying in tongues

          3. The writer is calling for prayer inspired, guided, and made effective through the Spirit. Those who are united in their access to the Father through the Spirit (2:18), who are built into God’s dwelling place in the Spirit (2:22), and who are being filled with the Spirit (5:18) can and should pray constantly in and through this Spirit.[1]

     C. Be alert. 

          1. Don’t let evil catch you off guard.  Be attentive to spiritual things.

          2. To be alert involves renouncing the spiritual sleep of the darkness of this age (1 Pet 4:7).[2]    “Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.”

     D. In all persistence

          1. προσκαρτέρησις: to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of doing it despite difficulty; to devote oneself to, to keep on, to persist in.

          2. If earlier in the passage much emphasis has been given to God’s provision of resources, there is now also stress on the need for effort and self-discipline on the part of believers, in order to avoid spiritual complacency and fatigue and pursue a life of prayer.[3]

III. Pray for Paul    vs. 19-20

     A. That he would speak the gospel boldly

     B. παρρησία:  courage, boldness, confidence, frankness; plainly or clearly, without ambiguity

IV. Lessons for us

     A. Pray regularly and often

     B. When prayer becomes hard, that is when we need it most

     C. We cannot defeat evil without God’s help

     D. Those who proclaim the gospel need special prayer.

Conclusion:  Here is what I want you to do!  Pray for me.  As I teach this class, as I travel to Guyana to teach.  Pray that evil will not stop the message or my sharing it. 


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[1]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians (452). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[2]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians (453). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

[3]Lincoln, A. T. (2002). Vol. 42: Word Biblical Commentary : Ephesians (453). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

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