Ephesians 6:13, 18 NIV – Therefore put on the full armor of God… And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
What Ephesians 6 is telling us is that in the midst of this broken world, we don’t fight with the implements of this world – we pray. This is why we must make prayer a continual activity that encompasses our whole selves: rooted in a fear of the Lord, listening for His answer, asking according to His will, and acting as He directs.
Paul’s imperatives of being strong, putting on the full armor of God are both passive and active – to be strong, to put on, to stand, with the knowledge that strength is not something of our own: “The…form of the verb “be strong” indicates that this empowering is something done to us Christians, not something we do ourselves; its present tense shows the empowering is continual. This instruction is not for a quick fix, but for a life spent drawing strength from Christ.” [Snodgrass, Klyne, The NIV Application Commentary: Ephesians, 338]
Let’s worship to “Surrounded” written by Michael W. Smith (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, we put on the full armor of God and pray in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 34:15-17 NLT – The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right;
his ears are open to their cries for help.
But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil;
he will erase their memory from the earth.
The Lord hears his people when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
There is this physicality to these words – the eyes, ears, and face of the Lord, echoing prior language of taste, see, and look. Prayer is a visceral thing – not simply a passive asking but one that requires a response to God’s answer. It demands that we are to wait, listen for God’s answer and to obey.
“Some people…think [prayer is] something that you do at a set time; that it’s just asking God for what you want. But prayer is more than that. Prayer is listening for God’s answer. It’s that intimate practice of asking according to His will and moving as He directs.” [Perkins, John M., One Blood, 147]
This is the fullness of prayer, and as God’s created people, made up of eyes, ears, face, breath, and bones we are to put prayer into action through repetition, practicing until it becomes our identity as those who seek God, seek good, pursue peace and fear the Lord.
Let’s worship to “Here Again” by Elevation worship (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, we pray with our whole being and obey. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Psalm 34:4-7 NLT – I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.
He freed me from all my fears.
Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened;
he saved me from all my troubles.
For the angel of the Lord is a guard;
he surrounds and defends all who fear him.
The way the psalmist uses “those who fear him” suggests that this awareness is properly not a one-time acknowledgement but a way of life. For those who take up this way of life, the psalm again offers a promise. Using the metaphor of the Lord as an army encamping in a protective fashion around those who fear the Lord, the psalm promises that God will similarly deliver others, just as the Lord has delivered the psalmist. When we fear the Lord, we care more about what God thinks than what we think. We begin to care more about the God things – the majestic things.
As God-fearers we make the LORD the basis and guide for the conduct of life. And God’s promise is that there is no insufficiency for those who fear him!
Let’s worship to the song “Majesty” by Hillsong and Delirious (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for answering our prayers and freeing us from all our fears. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
1 Samuel 17:45 NIV – David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.
In the events leading up to this, David makes a series of decisions that by any human measure would be head-scratchers. Instead of dressing in the armor that the king wanted him to wear, he uses just his sling and his plain shepherd clothes. Instead of depending on human ideas, structures or traditions, he goes before Goliath with confidence only because of what he knows of the Lord.
“In this battle for biblical reconciliation, we don’t go against the Enemy with swords, spears, and javelins….We pray…We pray because this battle is the Lord’s…Like David, we believe that God’s power is more than enough to bring victory.” [Perkins, John M., One Blood, 149]
This is something David possessed years of training in. Not the expected ways of a warrior: He was a gopher, a shepherd, and a musician to the king. In the midst of these things, he worshipped by himself, at times in loneliness meeting God. He wrote songs. He cried out. We see this pattern occur over and over, whatever his circumstance, be it times when he was repenting, or times when he was under duress, or times of rest or prosperity.
Prayer: Lord, train us to be prayer warriors. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Ephesians 3:14-16 MSG – My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.
The rhythm behind all the rituals of prayer and worship – how active it all is, how perpetual it is, whether it’s a prayer whispered in between tasks, or a simple prayer of thanks before a meal, or big extended breakthrough prayer times. We do this so that we are always listening, not wanting to miss out on a moment with God. To wait for God’s answer in an active way, all the time and to act on how God answers us.
“And I’m convinced that prayer and work go together. We’ve got to work and we’ve got to pray. We’ve got to do all that we can humanly do to move toward God’s vision for unity in the body of Christ. And we’ve got to pray that He will reign over our efforts and will bring His supernatural power to bear against the forces that oppose us.” [Perkins, John M., One Blood, 149]
Let’s sing “Obsession” by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes, Martin Smith (Click here).
Prayer: Lord, may our life response be on our knees before you, our magnificent Father. In Jesus’ name, Amen.