The Full Armor of God: Prayer

The Full Armor of God: Prayer

Welcome: Christian One Liners
Don't let your worries get the
best of you; remember, Moses started
out as a basket case.

Some people are kind, polite, and
sweet-spirited, until you try to sit in their pews.

Many folks want to serve God,
but only as advisors.

It is easier to preach ten sermons
than it is to live one.

The good Lord didn't create anything
without a purpose, but mosquitoes come close.

When you get to your wit's end,
you'll find God lives there.

People are funny; they want the front
of the bus, the middle of the road, and
the back of the church.

Opportunity may knock once, but temptation
bangs hard on your front door forever.

Quit griping about your church;
if it was perfect, you couldn't belong.

If the church wants a better pastor,
it only needs to pray for the one it has.

Psalm 107:28-30 Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

Opening Illustration: Thank You God, My Prayers Are Answered
There was a pastor who had a parrot. All the parrot would say was, “Let’s pray, let’s pray.” The pastor tried to teach him to say other things but to no avail. He learned that one of his deacons had a parrot. The parrot would only say, “Let’s kiss. Let’s kiss.” So the pastor decided to invite the deacon and his parrot over to his house. When the deacon arrived they put the parrots into the same cage to see what would happen. The deacon’s parrot said, “Let’s kiss, let’s kiss.” The pastor’s parrot said, “Thank you, Lord. My prayers have been answered.”

There’s great power in prayer.

The Most Powerful Weapon Is Prayer!

Background:
Over the past several weeks, we have been reading through Ephesians 6. 

1. We learned in verses 10-13 that there is a battle waging.  

2. We learn in verse 14 that we have a belt of truth.  This belt is symbolic of the Word of God.  God’s Word is the foundation for our armor and holds us together in battle.  It also provides for us access to our weaponry.  

3. In the same verse, we have a breastplate of righteousness.  This breastplate protects our hearts.  It prevents our hearts from growing hard, jaded and cynical.  It also lets the enemy know whose kingdom we belong. 

4. In verse 15 we discover that we have boots.  These boots are fitted just for us and it is these boots that empower us to deploy our spiritual gifts to grow God’s Kingdom.  Our boots are not meant for stomping but sharing the Gospel of peace around the world. 

5. We have talked about our barrier. Our shield.  We have been given a shield.  Not just any shield but a shield of faith.  This shield has a very specific purpose against a very specific enemy.  It protects us from the tricks of the devil.  It puts out his flaming arrows of doubt, discouragement, and depression.  

6. We read in verse 17 which reminds us about our helmet.  It is not just any helmet, but it is the helmet of salvation.  This helmet is crucial to the success of a Christian.  It serves as a buffer between our mind and the corruption of the world.  Think about how important the mind is.

7. Last week we talked about our sword.  Our blade. We looked at the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.  By the way, this is the only offensive piece of weaponry given to us.  This sword is vital to the success of the believer.  

8. Today we will examine verses 18-20 where Paul gives us our most powerful supernatural weapon.  That’s right, I’m talking about prayer.  Prayer its the greatest weapon we possess.  So, how often do you bend your knee in prayer?  How often do you address your Maker and seek His power?  Today, let’s examine the powerful tool of prayer.  

Ephesians 6:10-20 ESV
10 Finally, let the Lord make you strong. Depend on his mighty power. 11 Put on all of God’s armor. Then you can remain strong against the devil’s evil plans. 12 Our fight is not against human beings. It is against the rulers, the authorities and the powers of this dark world. It is against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly world. 13 So put on all of God’s armor. Evil days will come. But you will be able to stand up to anything. And after you have done everything you can, you will still be standing. 14 So remain strong in the faith. Put the belt of truth around your waist. Put the armor of godliness on your chest. 15 Wear on your feet what will prepare you to tell the good news of peace. 16 Also, pick up the shield of faith. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Put on the helmet of salvation. And take the sword of the Holy Spirit. The sword is God’s word.

18 At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit. Pray all kinds of prayers. Be watchful, so that you can pray. Always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me. Pray that whenever I speak, the right words will be given to me. Then I can be bold as I tell the mystery of the good news. 20 Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord’s messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That’s what I should do.

I. Paul Reveals A…

A. Battle

B. Belt

C. Breastplate 

D. Boots

E. Barrier 

F. Buffer

G. Blade

H. Bended Knee

II. When It Comes To Prayer, Paul Recommends…

A. Consistency vs. 18
“At all times”
Illustration from Mark 1:
In Mark 1 we see the following:
He preached
He builds His team
He drives out demonic spirits and heals potentially thousands

That’s one busy chapter. Then we come to Mark 1:35-39.  Let’s read it together.

Mark 1:35-39 NIV
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”

38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

Jesus regularly practiced prayer because it helped him recover and renew. Isn’t that what we need more of today.  Recovery and renewal.  It renewed his purpose.  It renewed his relationship with His Father.  

 I Thessalonians 5:17 NLT
“Never stop praying.”

II. When It Comes To Prayer, Paul Recommends…

A. Consistency vs. 18

B. Confidently vs. 18
“At all times, pray by the power of the Spirit”

Illustration: Prayer Changes Me

Sometimes it seems that prayer doesn’t work.  Why aren’t our prayers answered.  Listen to this insightful story from the life of C.S. Lewis.

CS Lewis was the author of the widely read children’s books, The Narnia Chronicles, as well as many novels for grown-ups and books on issues surrounding the Christian faith. The movie Shadowlands (directed by Richard Attenborough and produced in 1993) tells Lewis’ story, focusing in particular on his relationship with his wife, Joy Gresham. Gresham and Lewis meet while Lewis is a don at Oxford University.

After Joy is diagnosed with cancer the couple marry. The movie invites us to witness their love, their pain, their grief, their struggles with faith and God. Eventually Joy dies.

At one point in the story a friend says to Lewis, “Christopher can scoff, Jack, but I know how hard you’ve been praying; and now God is answering your prayers.”

Lewis replies “That’s not why I pray, Harry. I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.”

I John 5:14-15 ESV
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.

II. When It Comes To Prayer, Paul Recommends…

A. Consistency vs. 18

B. Confidently vs. 18

C. Creatively vs. 18
“Pray all kinds of prayers.”

Acts 16:25 NLT
Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening.”

II. When It Comes To Prayer, Paul Recommends…

A. Consistency vs. 18

B. Confidently vs. 18

C. Creatively vs. 18

D. Calculation (Be Opportunistic and Strategic) vs. 18
“Be watchful, so that you can pray.”

Illustration: Praying for Jesse, Praying for Max

Illustration: Craig Carlisle Pastor at 12th Street Baptist in Gadsden 

Good morning Stuart! Praying for power as you preach today. How else can I pray for you?

Illustration:
We should be like the 3-year-old boy (that Paul Harvey told about) who went to the grocery store with his mother. Before they entered the grocery store she said to him, "Now you’re not going to get any chocolate chip cookies, so don’t even ask."

She put him up in the cart & he sat in the little child’s seat while she wheeled down the aisles. He was doing just fine until they came to the cookie section. He saw the chocolate chip cookies & he stood up in the seat & said, “Mom, can I have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you not even to ask. You’re not going to get any at all.” So he sat back down.

They continued down the aisles, but in their search for certain items they ended up back in the cookie aisle. “Mom, can I please have some chocolate chip cookies?” She said, “I told you that you can’t have any. Now sit down & be quiet.”

Finally, they were approaching the checkout lane. The little boy sensed that this may be his last chance. So just before they got to the line, he stood up on the seat of the cart & shouted in his loudest voice, “In the name of Jesus, may I have some chocolate chip cookies?”

And everybody round about just laughed. Some even applauded. And, due to the generosity of the other shoppers, the little boy & his mother left with 23 boxes of chocolate chip cookies.

Colossians 4:2 NIV
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”

II. When It Comes To Prayer, Paul Recommends…

A. Consistency vs. 18

B. Confidently vs. 18

C. Creatively vs. 18

D. Calculation (Be Opportunistic and Strategic) vs. 18

E. Consideration vs. 19-20
“Pray also for me. Pray that whenever I speak, the right words will be given to me. Then I can be bold as I tell the mystery of the good news. 20 Because of the good news, I am being held by chains as the Lord’s messenger. So pray that I will be bold as I preach the good news. That’s what I should do.”

Point:
Pray for teachers, preachers, evangelist. Pray for the persecuted. 

I Thessalonians 5:25 ESV
“Brothers, pray for us.”

Closing Illustration: What is Prayer By James Montgomery

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Unuttered or expressed;
The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear;
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech
That infant lips can try;
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach 
The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;
His watchword at the gates of death -
He enters heaven with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice
And cry, 'Behold, he prays!'

The saints in prayer appear as one,
In word, in deed, and mind;
While with the Father and the Son,
Sweet fellowship they find.

No prayer is made by man alone
The Holy Spirit pleads;
And Jesus, on th' eternal throne
For sinners intercedes.

O Thou! by Whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way;
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod:
Lord, teach us how to pray.

As fail the waters from the deep, 
As summer brooks run dry,
Man lieth down in dreamless sleep,
His life is vanity. 

Man lieth down, no more to wake,
Till yonder arching sphere
Shall with a roll of thunder break,
And nature disappear.

Oh! hide me till Thy wrath be past,
Thou, who canst slay or save!
Hide me where hope may anchor fast,
In my Redeemer's grave! 

James Montgomery


Remember to P.U.S.H.! Pray Until Something Happens!

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