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Armor: Prayer in the Spirit



Armor: Prayer in the Spirit

Perry Duggar |

Prayer in the Spirit activates and empowers God's armor to resist Satan's attacks.






Armor: Prayer in the Spirit
Spiritual Warfare – Part 8
Perry Duggar
November 13, 2022

I. Introduction: We return for our final message on Spiritual Warfare.

  • Ephesians 6:10-18; C/R: 2 Thessalonians 3:3)

A. Background

  1. Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote this letter to the church in Ephesus.
  2. He was likely using the armor worn by his Roman guards to illustrate what protections we have been given by God to battle the devil and his demons.

B. Ephesians 6:10–18 (NLT) 10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. [Not our strength, God’s power!] 11 Put on all of God’s [!] armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. 12 For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

13 Therefore, put on every piece of God’s [!] armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. 14 Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. 15 For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. 16 In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. 17 Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

[Theme and focus for today] 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

  1. We have reviewed our enemy’s strategies and been oriented to the armor given to us by God to withstand Satan’s assaults, but this armor does not operate automatically.
  2. Prayer activates God’s armor to resist Satan’s attacks.
  3. Prayer provides the power needed to wear the armor and wield the sword of the Spirit.
  4. Not merely the action of prayer, but the activity of the Holy Spirit in and through prayer.
  5. Our ability to stand against Satan’s forces requires continual connection with God through prayer—not one-sided requests, two-way conversations—talking and listening.
  6. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (NLT)— But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one. [As you develop intimacy with Him through prayer.]

II. The role of prayer in spiritual warfare:

[Prayer…]

A. #1 - Provides spiritual power to resist attacks. (Ephesians 6:18a; C/R: Mark 14:38; Romans 8:26-27; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

  1. Ephesians 6:18a (NIV)— And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers [prŏsĕuchŏmai, general requests] and requests [ dĕēsis, specific petitions].
  2. The use of prayers and requests means that we are to be involved in all kinds of prayer.
  3. Praying on all occasions doesn’t mean to pray aloud all day without ceasing. (Jesus didn’t pray that way and neither did the apostles.)
  4. It means to live in continuous awareness of God, continually conscious of His presence.
  5. Ex.: If we remain in recurring connection with God, we express to Him whatever we think or feel, all that we experience, in a running dialogue, which is a prayer.
  6. When we are spiritually attacked, we stop immediately and cry out to God for help.
  7. The most important quality of prayer is that it be in the Spirit, because it is the Holy Spirit who connects us to God when we are born again—and He helps us to pray.
  8. Romans 8:26–27 (NLT)— 26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. [humanity] For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. [We don’t know our real needs, or the needs of others, from God’s perspective.] But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. [Not speaking in tongues, this is for all believers.] 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. [It is God’s will that determines how our prayers will be answered.]
  9. We pray as the Spirit prays for us; as we do, our prayers are conformed to the concerns of the Spirit, which is in accord with the will of God.
  10. Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us, conforming us to Jesus’ likeness (Rom.8:29).
  11. As we pray by the Spirit’s leading, we develop the mind of Christ (1Cor.2:16,).
  12. 12 We begin to think as Jesus thought and pray as the Spirit prays, according to God’s will.
  13. As we grow in the ability to pray by the Spirit, remaining in God’s presence, we receive the ability, the power, the strength, to resist the assaults of Satanic soldiers.
  14. APP.: Are you learning to pray led by the Spirit, according to the will of God?

[Prayer…]

B. #2 - Presents a pattern to practice. (Ephesians 6:18b; C/R: Luke 21:36; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; 2 Thessalonians 1:11)

  1. Ephesians 6:18b (NIV)—… With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. [Jesus urged His disciples to “watch and pray;” Lk.21:36; Matt.26:41]
  2. Watch what is going on around you and be aware of what is happening within you spiritually and emotionally, then concentrate on that as you express your prayers.
  3. We need this reminder to keep on praying, because we can become bored with prayer when answers are delayed, so we give up; we stop praying.
  4. When we stop praying, our focus will move from our faith to this world’s distractions, and we will begin to wander far away from God as we are consumed by enticements.
  5. The purpose of continual prayer is to keep our hearts and minds aligned with God’s.
  6. God is concerned about all of His children, and He wants us to be also.
  7. Many of us don’t become motivated to pray until a problem arises in our own personal lives or the lives of our family and friends.
  8. We should certainly pray for ourselves and people we care about, but our prayers must not be solely self-focused; we are called to awareness and concern about others.
  9. We are encouraged by this verse to always keep on praying for all the saints [which means holy ones, other believers].
  10. Every saint (all of us) needs to be prayed for because we are all experiencing the spiritual warfare for which God provides the armor Paul has described in this passage.
  11. Jesus prayed Simon’s faith would not faith when Satan attacked him. (Lk 21:31-32)
  12. We should always pray about the needs of others, especially other believers who are facing trials and missionaries who are serving throughout the world (Praveen, Dennis).
  13. Our most passionate prayers, should be about spiritual matters—salvation and transformation, forgiveness and cleansing from sins, for these last forever, instead of merely the temporary problems of this planet that’s fading away (1Jn.2:17).
  14. The context of Paul's call to prayer in this passage is spiritual warfare; he is urging us to pray for victory in our spiritual battle against Satan, the enemy of our souls.
  15. Ask for protection from spiritual attack and strength to resist temptation for self and others. (Included in Lord’s Prayer: prevent temptation, deliver from the devil; Mt.6:13.)
  16. APP.: Do you pray about spiritual concerns for yourself and for others?

[Prayer in the Spirit…]

C. #3 - Prepares armor for assault. (James 4:7-8)

  1. James 4:7–8 (NLT)— 7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come close to God, and God will come close to you. …
  2. It is coming—and staying—close to God in prayer through the presence of His Spirit that enables us to resist Satan.
  3. The Spirit provides protection from God to deflect attacks by the devil and his demons.
  4. Each of these protections is symbolized as an item of God’s armor, which is activated, empowered, by the Holy Spirit through prayer.

  • [The Spirit in prayer] Confirms truth throughout my life. (Building integrity; Ps.25:21)

  1. Wearing the belt of truth, is being sensitive to the Spirit confirming truth and exposing inconsistencies between my beliefs and my behavior (profession and practice).
  2. Having spiritual and personal integrity will prevent Satan from exploiting this weakness in my life through temptation, followed by guilt-causing accusation (Rev.12:10).

  • [The Spirit] Convicts of sin to increase holiness. (Psalm 139:23-24)

  1. Strapping on the breastplate of righteousness includes knowing I have been declared perfectly righteous by God (justification), experienced through regeneration by the Spirit, so I can never be rejected by God, despite what Satan says.
  2. The Spirit increases my practical righteousness (sanctification) as I stay continually connected to God through prayer, so demonic forces will fail in trying to shame me.

  • [The Spirit] Confers readiness to witness courageously. (2 Timothy 1:7-8)

  1. Lacing on the shoes of peace means being motivated to tell my spiritual story.
  2. Being equipped by the Spirit to communicate the gospel prevents me from becoming passive and fearful in my faith, so I am not susceptible to Satan’s threats.

  • [The Spirit in prayer] Convinces to trust God’s promises. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)

  1. Holding up the shield of faith represents gripping the many promises of God, which the Spirit’s guarantees, so I can reject doubts about God suggested by Satan.
  2. As we pray, the Spirit reminds us of God’s faithfulness to us so we can deflect the fiery arrows of the devil seeking to cause us to question God’s care for us.

  • [God’s Spirit] Cultivates confident hope of eternal life. (Romans 15:13)

  1. Wearing the helmet of salvation means we strongly believe we are headed for heaven, enabling us to refuse the devil’s attempt to direct our attention to this life’s difficulties.
  2. As we pray, the Holy Spirit helps us see this world’s problems and pains from an eternal perspective, so we focus on eternal reward instead of this world’s sorrow.

  • [The Holy Spirit] Converts Bible verses into weapons for specific use. (1 Cor.10:13)

  1. Taking up the Sword of the Spirit represents the Spirit illuminating verses of the Bible so they become supernatural weapons for engaging in spiritual warfare.
  2. The Holy Spirit reminds us of particular verses that apply powerfully in specific situations to deflect the deceitful attacks of Satan.

Morning of Worship next week!

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