Spiritual Armor: Praying Always

I. The “whole armor” is must be “taken up” and “put on.”

A. The Truth Belt

1. It involves, of course, a knowledge of the Word of God (John 17:17)

2. It is the greatest defense against deception and lie (2 Corinthians 4:2).

B. The Breastplate of Righteousness

1. It is the “abiding” in God that secures righteousness (1 John 3:5-10)

2. It is the greatest defense against the horrible consequences of sin (Ephesians 5:1-6; Colossians 3:1-6).

C. The Shoes of Preparation

1. It requires being “ready always” (1 Peter 3:15)

2. It is the greatest defense against a false gospel (Jude 4)

D. The Shield of Faith

1. It comes by “hearing” the Word of God (Romans 10:17)

2. It is the greatest defense against the “wiles” of the devil (Ephesians 6:16; 2 Corinthians 2:11)

E. The Helmet of Salvation

1. It is the relationship to Christ (Romans 8:15-17)

2. It is the greatest defense against mental incapacity (Romans 12:2; 1 Peter 1:13)

F. The Sword of the Spirit is the written Word of God.

1. It is the weapon of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 6:17)

2. It is able to penetrate and divide the spiritual elements (Hebrews 4:12)

3. It is “capable” through God to destroy all the spiritual strongholds of evil (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

4. It is sufficient for all our spiritual needs (2 Peter 1:3-4)

II. Prayer is part of the battle armor (Ephesians 6:18)

A. Communication with “headquarters” is absolutely necessary in battle.

1. Strategic objectives and understanding are vital.

a. Clearly defined enemy (Ephesians 6:12)
1) The Chief Adversary – Lucifer (Matthew 13:22-44)
2) The World’s Philosophy (Colossians 2:8)
3) The Evil Leaders (Acts 13:8-10; 2 Timothy 2:17-18)
b. Clear objectives and goals (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
1) Destroy the “castles” of the enemy
2) Throw down the “imaginations” of the enemy
3) Eliminate every “lofty thing” of the enemy
4) Capture the thoughts

2. Tactical awareness is critical.

a. Know how to use your armor and weapons.
b. Know your “place” (role-gift) in the army.

3. U.S. Army structure

a. Squad
1) Composition: Individuals
2) Size: 10
3) Leader: Sergeant
b. Platoon
1) Composition: 2-4 Squads
2) Size: 40
3) Leader: Lieutenant
c. Company
1) Composition: 4-6 Platoons
2) Size: 200
3) Leader: Captain
d. Battalion
1) Composition: 6-8 Companies
2) Size: 1000
3) Leader: Lt. Colonel
e. Brigade
1) Composition: 3-5 Battalions
2) Size: 3-5,000
3) Leader: Colonel
f. Division
1) Composition: 3-5 Brigades
2) Size: 10-15,000
3) Leader: Major General
g. Corps
1) Composition: 2-4 Brigades
2) Size: 20-45,000
3) Leader: Lt. General
h. Army
1) Composition: 2-4 Corps
2) Size: 50,000+
3) Leader: General

3. Note: Although human armies ARE NOT the spiritual armies of the Lord Jesus, they do give us insight into “chain of command” structures for the Lord’s army – His churches.

a. There are two “officers” – Pastors and Deacons (1Timothy 3:1-13)
b. There are many “gifts” (Romans 12:6-13; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11; Ephesians 4:8-11)
c. There are many “levels” of influence and varieties of “assignments” but only ONE Lord

B. Communication (prayer) is always needed at every level.

1. The individual “soldier” must have instruction and direction.

2. The various “leaders” must have insight and knowledge.

3. The different “tasks” (gifts) must know how, when, and where to apply their skills.

C. Communication (prayer) is to be done “always.”

1. The phrase in Ephesians 6:18 is “en panti kairo

a. Kairos translates as “all seasons” or “any time”
b. Pas translates “all” or “every”
c. Thus a double emphasis: “in each and every season (time)”

2. The parallel passages are instructive.

a. 2 Timothy 4:2 – “in season, out of season”
b. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “pray without ceasing”
c. Colossians 1:3 – “praying always for you”
d. Romans 1:9 – “without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers”
e. 2 Timothy 1:3 – “without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day”

3. The “always” does NOT mean “repetitious” prayer (Matthew 6:7)

a. The Greek word is battologeo – “to stammer; to repeat”
b. The practice of using “prayer beads” is wrong.
c. The repetitive use of “religious” words and phrases is wrong.
d. The repetitive use of “memorized” prayers is dulling.

4. The “always” DOES require three key disciplines.

a. Our prayer life is to be habitual (Colossians 4:2)
1) Acts 2:24 – the church “continued” in prayer.
2) Acts 6:4 – the Apostles “continually” prayed
b. Our prayer life is to be watchful (Matthew 26:38-41)
1) The emphasis is on vigilance (1 Peter 5:8)
2) The emphasis is on commitment (1 Corinthians 16:13)
c. Our prayer life is to be ready (Mark 14:38)
1) The emphasis is on spiritual preparation (1 Peter 3:15)
2) The sinful life blocks prayer (Psalm 66:18; Proverbs 15:29)
3) The selfish prayer is not answered (James 4:3)
4) The disobedient life brings rejection (Proverbs 28:9)

III. Prayer during spiritual battle is specifically focused (Ephesians 6:18-20)

A. There are two types of prayer specifically identified.

1. Proseuche, translated “prayer” is specified.

a. This the most often used term in the New Testament
b. This term stresses “formal” or “devotional” prayer.
c. Matthew 21:13, 22; Acts 6:4; Philippians 4:6

2. Deesis, translated “supplication” is identified.

a. This term is used term some 40 times in the New Testament
b. This term stresses “personal” or “urgent” prayer.
c. Luke 1:13; Romans 10:1; 1 Timothy 5:5

B. There are two attitudes of prayer specifically identified.

1. Agrupneo, translated “watching” is required.

a. This term is used infrequently in the New Testament
b. This term stresses “self-control” not merely being awake
c. Luke 21:26; Hebrews 13:17; 1 Peter 5:8

2. Proskarteresis, translated “perseverance” is demanded.

a. This term is used infrequently in the New Testament
b. This term stresses constant attention.
c. Mark 3:9; Acts 8:13; Acts 10:7

C. There are two types of requests identified.

1. We are to pray “for all saints” – the context stresses spiritual battle.

a. Abraham interceding for Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33)
b. Daniel for sins of the people (Daniel 9:3-19)
d. Habakkuk for revival (Habakkuk 3:1-2)

2. We are to pray for each other.

a. Pray for “utterance” – words to speak
b. Pray for “boldness” – freedom to speak
c. Pray for the opportunity to “make known the mystery of the gospel”

Hebrews 10:22-25 – Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Series: 
Identity
Lesson: 
#22
Book: 
Ephesians
Verses: 
6:18-20

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