Monday

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare: Our Battle Cry

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.” -Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)

Though Rev. Peter Muhlenberg had preached regularly for the cause of the American colonists, he decided that, in his last sermon, he would have to do something unusual to drive home his point. After reading from Ecclesiastes 3:1, he said, “There is a time to preach and a time to pray, but there is a time to fight, and that time has now come.” Muhlenberg threw off his [clergy] robes to reveal the uniform of a militia colonel. He then recruited the men of his congregation, who became known as the “German Regiment,” which Muhlenberg commanded throughout the war [American Revolution].” (Mark Couvillon, Fighting Words.)

There are times when we must fight by praying. In Ephesians 6:14, the Apostle Paul encourages believers to “stand firm.” He then began to describe the armor we have been given to fight with. On Sunday, Pastor Jim reminded us that the armor is what we’ve been given to fight with and the command to pray tells us how we should fight. We fight by praying at all times. When we pray, we are declaring our dependence on God any time we sense the need of the moment. We fight by praying “in the Spirit.” This means we pray in line with the will and desires of God. And “supplication” is when we are asking God for His help with specific needs.

Reflection

Do you regularly use the weapon of prayer when you sense a spiritual battle in your life? Praying without ceasing doesn’t mean we need long extended prayer services. A simple sentence prayer to God at school, work, in the car, or at home can capture the heart of this verse.

Praise

Praise God for always being available to hear the cries of our heart. Ask God to grow your prayer life with consistent and simple communication with Him throughout the day.

Tuesday

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare: Stay Alert

“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.” – Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)

Pastor D.L. Moody and his wife often had guests in their Chicago home. One evening, after a very demanding day, Moody asked a visiting Christian to lead in family devotions. The man waxed eloquent as he expounded the symbolism in a difficult chapter of the Bible. Then he prayed at great length. When the worship was over, Mrs. Moody and the guest got up from their knees, but Moody remained bowed in prayer. The guest thought that he was praying, but Mrs. Moody soon detected that her husband was asleep! (W. Wiersbe)

It is imperative for a soldier to stay alert when they are in a warzone. We have been learning that there is spiritual war constantly being fought around us. We are in a spiritual warzone. The Apostle Paul teaches, “to that end, keep alert.” This is literally to be sleepless or to be awake. The present tense of the verb calls for this to be the believer’s lifestyle. Be continually on standby alert as you pray! Keep your spiritual eyes open, for the enemy may assault you at any time!

Reflection

The image of praying with your eyes open may help you better understand what is being taught in Ephesians 6. What needs do you see when you look around your home, school, office, church, community, or neighborhood? Pray for the needs you see.

Praise

Praise God for His ability to see and know everything going around in our world. Ask God to help you see what He sees when you pray.

Wednesday

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare: Pray For Others

“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.” – Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)

16-year-old Barry had just received his learner’s permit, so he offered to drive his mom to church. After a ten-minute ride which featured speeding, abrupt stops, hairpin turns, and collisions with multiple curbs, Barry pulled the car into the church parking lot. His mother got out of the car and said, “Thank you!” “Anytime,” Barry replied. As mom slammed the door, she said, “I wasn’t talking to you. I was talking to God.”

The term “supplication” used in Ephesians 6:18 could be an urgent request to meet a need and is exclusively addressed to God. Paul wants Christians to be praying to God for each other with a sense of urgency. We should not be fighting spiritual battles alone. We need each other praying consistently for one another.

Reflection

Do you have a sense of urgency to pray for people you know? Someone asked, “But will prayer for other people help us?” Yes, very much. You will sometimes find that, when you cannot pray for yourself, it is a good plan to pray for somebody else. Think of another Christian, and pray for him. The Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends, and He will do the same for you.

Praise

Thank God for the opportunity to be a part of His army with fellow Christians. Thank Him for the privilege of praying for others. Lift up any urgent prayer needs you are aware of.

Thursday

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare: Spreading the Gospel

“And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.” – Ephesians 6:19-20 (ESV)

Evangelist Leighton Ford shared the following story. “I was speaking at an open-air crusade in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Billy Graham was to speak the next night and had arrived a day early. He came incognito and sat on the grass at the rear of the crowd. Because he was wearing a hat and dark glasses, no one recognized him.

Directly in front of him sat an elderly gentleman who seemed to be listening intently to my presentation. When I invited people to come forward as an open sign of commitment, Billy decided to do a little personal evangelism. He tapped the man on the shoulder and asked, ‘Would you like to accept Christ? I’ll be glad to walk down with you if you want to.’ The old man looked him up and down, thought it over for a moment, and then said, ‘Naw, I think I’ll just wait till the big gun comes tomorrow night.’”

Unfortunately, many Christians believe sharing the gospel is only for “big guns.” In Ephesians 6:19-20, Paul wanted people praying that He would have opportunities to share the “mystery of the gospel.” “The mystery of the gospel” is simply the good news of God’s offer of mercy and forgiveness through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Reflection

Pastor Jim taught us in the sermon this is all about advancing God’s Kingdom and seeing lives changed. That is the job for every Christian and not just the “big guns.” When was the last time you took advantage of an opportunity to share the gospel with someone?

Praise

Praise God for revealing the mystery of the gospel to you. Ask God for opportunities to tell others how they can find forgiveness through a relationship with Jesus.

Friday

Prayer and Spiritual Warfare: Boldness

“And also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,  for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. – Ephesians 6:19-20 (ESV)

During Marine basic training at Parris Island, S.C., the drill instructor threw a pine cone among the recruits and yelled, “Grenade!” The trainees immediately turned away and hit the ground. “Just as I suspected,” chided the drill instructor. “Not a hero among you. Didn’t anyone want to jump on that grenade to save the others?” A little later the drill instructor again threw another pine cone. This time, all the recruits but Mike jumped on the “grenade.” “Why,” demanded the instructor, “are you still standing there?” “Sir,” Mike replied, “someone had to live to tell about it.” (Michael Duduit)

There are times when sharing the gospel requires boldness. The word “boldness” implies that there may be some danger involved in talking about Jesus and the gospel. There were occasions when sharing the gospel cost Paul his freedom and almost his life. Yet, Paul requested prayer so he would have the confidence and courage to leave nothing unsaid that needed to be said. Paul cared enough about people to tell them the truth in love, even when it was unpopular.

Reflection

There are still people today in certain parts of the world risking their lives to share the gospel. What are you afraid of when it comes to sharing the gospel? What do you stand to lose? What do you have to gain when it comes to sharing the gospel? Is it worth the risk?

Praise

Praise God for the people all over the world risking their lives to tell others about God’s love. Ask God to give you a loving boldness to tell others about His love.

© 2017 Second Baptist Church
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