Ephesians 6:18 ESV 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, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
We have been given this amour for one purpose, which is, to stand our ground in the day of evil. This armour is used to stand against the temptations and deceit of Satan. To stand against the lust of our flesh and our love for the ways of the world. We now come to prayer. Paul says to pray for all the saints and for him personally. Pray at all times about all things, when things are good and when it seems as if all is lost. We pray for things in general and for very specific heart felt things.
Spiritual warfare is no game and for those who fight and stand to live by their convictions, suffering is promised. In the book of James we read of such suffering believers.
James 5:13 KJV Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms. 14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
James is writing to a church that has been infiltrated by false believers, false teachers, teaching false doctrines. There is trouble inside the church and trouble from unbelievers outside of the church. These believers were suffering great loss including loss of life. They are on the front lines of spiritual warfare.
Here we have 3 questions
1) are you suffering? —> action is to pray
2) are you rejoicing? —> action is to sing
3) are you sick? —> action is to ask for prayer
We will look closely at the 3rd question. I will begin by defining sick.
There are times in the battle we are weakened to the point of I can’t go on. There are times our battle is long and hard and so intense we have nothing left. We are drained mentally, emotionally, and physically. We are so exhausted we just can’t fight anymore. It feels like the armour is not working and where is God.
It is this time we will see clearly our need for the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the weakness of our flesh, our need for the strength and mighty power of Christ and our need for help from mature believers. When we pray we have no words. We are at such a loss all we can do is groan and cry out, help me.
Romans 8:26 KJV Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Jude 1:20 KJV But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Our prayer life is to God, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit. We must confess any sin we are living in, be it mental, emotional, or physical and move into obeying and submitting to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to be under the shadow of the Almighty.
Prayer is not the finishing touch to our armour. It is the everyday, every moment, continually lifting up your cares to God. Spiritual warfare is a reality for the true believer and when we are wounded, worn out, have nothing left, God provides someone to come and help us. Not only He Himself but He will send someone to you.
Ephesians 6:19 KJV And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
This is not the only place Paul
asks for prayer for himself. He asks in Philippians 1:19, Romans 15:30-32, Colossians 4:12-14, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, 2 Corinthians 11:25-28.
Prayer is to be woven into every aspect of our life. We are told we have not because we ask not. We are told our heavenly Father knows our needs but we are to ask anyway. Why? It is through prayer we enter into a deeper and deeper relationship. It is through heart felt prayer we learn the way of obedience, of loving our LORD, of having a heart filled with gratitude for all He has done for us. God spoke to us through His Son, the Word. We speak to God through prayer.
Psalm 34:15 KJV The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.
God hears every cry of His children.
Daniel 9:18 KJV O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
We do not pray because we think we have to earn something from God. We pray because we trust and lean on His mercy, goodness, and loving kindness.
Psalm 27:4 KJV One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. 5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.
The believers heart felt cry of love and trust.