Pray for Protection
27 May 2018 PM – Ephesians 6:18 – Armour18 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Read Ephesians 6:10-18. Our spiritual armour includes wearing God’s promises about truth, righteousness, and peace. It includes hiding behind faith in God, wearing salvation’s benefits, and handling effectively the Bible – the Spirit’s sword. God follows this with a charge to pray.
Charles Spurgeon, the well-known English Baptist preacher of the 1800’s said, “When you cannot use your sword, and even when you can hardly grasp your shield, you can pray. That weapon of “all prayer” is of the handiest kind, because it can be turned in any and every direction.”
Opinions differ as to whether prayer is part of our spiritual armour, but one thing is certain, it is vital for our protection.
Transition: This evening we are going to note two of God’s instructions about praying for protection.
The first instruction is that…
1. We are to Pray Always
a. We have a continual need for prayer.
² Expositors Commentary says: “This great requirement of standing ready for the combat can be made good only when prayer, constant, earnest, spiritual prayer is added to the careful equipment with all the parts of the panoply.”
1) Praying is the act of talking with God.
2) The word “always” translates three Greek words in every season. We need to pray in every trying situation. Pray “habitually, on all kinds of occasions” (Lenski p. 675). (1 Thessalonians 5:17) “Pray without ceasing.”
a) In preparation for every day, we must pray, for we know temptation awaits us.
b) On every occasion when temptation threatens, we must pray.
c) Every time lust lures us with its sweet smell like tempting bait on a mousetrap, we must pray.
d) We must always be ready to pray because we never know when temptation or trial will strike.
b. Our praying is to accomplish two goals.
1) Prayers are to pray or to talk with God. Prayer is not reading to God or reciting to Him. It is sharing your heart with God. True prayer is transparent.
a) When you pray, discuss things with God. Talk over the agenda for the day.
² Allan Turner said, “The Christian soldier, unlike the Roman soldier, has at his disposal a means whereby he can continuously communicate (through Christ, of course) with the General (viz. God, the Father).
b) We must communicate regularly with God our General. He knows our enemy the Devil very well. He knows when and how he will strike. He knows our weaknesses better than we do. He knows the perfect battle plan. Talk to Him about your specific temptations. Discuss your weaknesses. Share with Him your fears. Discuss each piece of armour with Him. Thank Him for His salvation and protection.
2) Prayers also are to supplicate or petition God for help.
a) Submit to God and ask Him for strength to resist. (James 4:7) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
b) Ask Him to remind you of verses that you can use as a sword.
c) Ask God to help you to obey verses that instructions for temptations (e.g., Rom 13:14, 2Ti 2:22).
d) When tempted to get angry – pray. When tempted to speak an unkind word – pray. When tempted to complain – pray. When tempted to think evil – pray. When tempted by a sinful habit – pray. (Matthew 26:41) “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
² “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees” (Robertson p. 552).
c. All prayer and supplication is to be in the Spirit
1) “All prayer and supplication” may either mean all kinds of prayer and supplication (vocal, silent, private, public) or every prayer and supplication (every one).
2) Praying in the Holy Spirit is letting him guide our prayers.
a) One of His ministries is to help us pray. (Romans 8:26) “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.”
b) To pray in harmony with the Spirit, we must be walking in the Spirit. That is only possible when we have a flourishing relationship with God by drawing near to God, walking in the light, and abiding in Christ. An unhealthy soldier with the best armour possible is likely heading for defeat.
The second instruction is that…
2. We are to Pray Watching
a. Other saints have need of prayer too
1) The word “thereunto” translates three Greek words unto same thing. Other saints share your same need for prayer during temptation. Just as you must pray and petition God for yourself, you must do the same for others.
2) We are to watch for other saints. The word “watch” means to be sleepless, keep awake, watch; to be circumspect, attentive, ready. Watching is genuine, heartfelt care and concern. How careful are we to pray God’s protection over our families, our Christian friends, our congregation, and our missionaries? How attentive are we to the kind of temptations each of them faces each day? Do we pray for Christians who are suffering for the cause of Christ in other countries? (Galatians 6:2) “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”
b. We must watch in prayer in two ways:
1) We must watch with all perseverance. Perseverance is persistence, non-stop, never quit, and ongoing. God is not talking here about asking God on Sunday morning to strengthen a brother or sister. He is speaking of a constant, daily, never-quit, habit of that kind of prayer. (Luke 18:1) “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
2) We must watch by petitioning God on their behalf. We are to do this for (on behalf of) all saints. Ask God to deliver them from temptation. Ask God to help them live godly. Ask God to keep them strong in the faith. Ask God to motivate others to wear His spiritual armour.
a) (Hebrews 13:3) “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”
b) (Romans 12:15) “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
3) I don’t know about you but I often do a very poor job of fulfilling this command.
a) We pray for each other’s burdens and illnesses on Wednesday night, but do we do it daily for their victory over temptation?
b) Do you pray that God will strengthen your spouse, your children, your pastor, and your friends in time of temptation?
c) Do you pray daily that each of our missionaries will have victory over temptation?
Conclusion: As I pondered again the armour of God, it came to me that each piece draws us close to God. Each piece strengthens our relationship with God. We must believe God’s truth, depend on His righteousness, claim His peace, have faith in Him, trust His eternal salvation, and spend time in His Word. In reality, wearing God’s armour is having a flourishing relationship with God.
Prayer is not an afterthought. Prayer is an essential part of our spiritual armour. Prayer is the switch that connects us with God’s Power. It is through prayer that we yield ourselves to the power of God’s might (v.10). It is through yielding, claiming God’s promises in Scripture, quoting Scripture and praying that we put on the whole armour of God.
Only the Christian with a flourishing relationship with God has put on the panoply of God and is ready to stand against the wiles of the devil. If that does not describe you, it can. The choice is up to you.
Song: I Need Thee Every Hour, 318