Sunday – October 6, 2013 “Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of Prayer”

Sunday – October 6, 2013 – Read the Word on Worship

Spiritual Warfare and the Armor of Prayer from Sunrise Community Church on Vimeo.

And yet the command of Scripture is for us to be persevering in prayer. Perseverance means we do not give up when we do not see the result we want – but we faithfully continue to wait on the Lord. This is one of the aspects of prayer that I find most difficult. We are to pray with “all perseverance.” Jesus told the parable of the widow who kept pestering the hardhearted judge, until finally he relented just to get her off his back. Jesus assures us that God is not uncaring like that unrighteous judge, but He will bring about justice speedily for His elect who cry out to Him.
Join us as we conclude our study into spiritual warfare and the armor of God as we look at prayer in light of the spiritual battle. May our time in Ephesian 6 bless you and enable you to stand in these evil days.


Word On Worship – Sunday – October 6, 2013 Download / Print

Ephesians 6:18-20
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

I confess that prayer is one of the most difficult topics for me to preach about because it is difficult for me to understand and practice. On one hand, I know the only reason God has enabled me to persevere as a pastor is His grace that has come to me through the prayers of His people and through my own desperate cries to Him for help. Not a week goes by without my feeling overwhelmingly inadequate for this ministry. I could not endure without prayer. Yet on the other hand, the longer I am a Christian, the more acutely I am aware of my own shortcomings in prayer.

The Christian life is not about making ourselves happy and comfortable yet it is often the theme of most of our prayer time. I often wonder if the angels know what I will ask based on the first three words because the Christian life is a battle with the unseen forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. To stand with God against this evil enemy, we must be people of prayer, not just with a blessing over a meal or uttered as a matter of last resort, but to have a prayer for every season of our lives.

And yet the command of Scripture is for us to be persevering in prayer. Perseverance means we do not give up when we do not see the result we want – but we faithfully continue to wait on the Lord. This is one of the aspects of prayer that I find most difficult. We are to pray with “all perseverance.” Jesus told the parable of the widow who kept pestering the hardhearted judge, until finally he relented just to get her off his back. Jesus assures us that God is not uncaring like that unrighteous judge, but He will bring about justice speedily for His elect who cry out to Him.

And yet, Paul’s word about perseverance as well as our experience, shows that Jesus’s promise of God answering speedily must be interpreted by God’s view of time, not ours.  I can’t give you a rule for when to go on praying and when to conclude that God isn’t going to answer. I have prayed for one request for many years now that has not been answered. So, I modified the request and keep praying. I have scratched some people off my prayer list after years of praying with no visible results. If God brings them to mind, I’ll pray, but I don’t pray for them regularly anymore. But when I do stop praying for someone, it is not because I doubt God’s ability to answer. Rather, after years of praying, it just seems that God is not going to answer me personally and so I leave it with Him and His sovereign will.

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