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In the Battle Zone

Words of Faith Final

In the Battle Zone

Words of Faith 5-17-2021

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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Ephesians 6

[18] 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 saints.

 

      The preparations for Spiritual warfare involve four basic strategies-- know your strengths, know your enemy, armor up, and stay in formation.  The actual work of warfare is singular.  It is prayer.  Warfare may be reinforced with other spiritual disciplines such as fasting, solitude, or scriptural focus, but fundamentally it is a matter of prayer.

       Paul called on the believers in Ephesus to pray not only when the enemy attacks but on all occasions.  We are to pray continually in the Spirit.  We are to pray on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Our method and mode of battle are simply to talk with God in every situation and in every sort of way.

       We may not realize it, but this was a revolutionary concept in the time of Paul.  Judaism called for prayer three times a day and four times on Shabbat.  A fifth prayer was added only on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  These prayers were specific and ritualized.  They involved specific scriptures, blessings, and Psalms to be recited at each time of the day. What Paul described literally blew the walls out of that box.

       What Paul called for was a constant attitude of prayer and continual conversation with God about ALL things that were going on.  Listen to the language: Pray in the Spirit on ALL occasions with ALL kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert, and ALL the time keep on praying for ALL the saints. 

       The march of a believer in tortoise formation is not just a matter of occasional prayer.  It is not just certain types of prayers.  It is not prayer at just some times or days.  It is not just some of the saints who should pray.  The key to getting through the fiery arrows on the field is constant prayer.

       Can you imagine a warrior who went into battle but only picked up his sword at three brief times of the day?  That would be foolish!  Yet we often resist the concept of continual prayer.  Often our problem is how we understand and practice prayer. If we don’t pray in the Spirit, we pray in our flesh.  If we don’t pray continually, we pray in short rituals.  In our flesh, prayer becomes a ritual that we do for God or a show to be seen by men.  Religion programs us so that we don’t pray "all kinds of prayers." 

      All kinds of prayers include blessings, thanksgiving, petition, intercession, quiet listening, cries before the throne, adoration, praise, earnest seeking, and prayer in groanings too deep for us to understand where the Spirit Himself intercedes for us (Romans 8:26).

      Praying continually does not means ritualized prayers at all hours.  It means a relationship of prayer as the constant conversation of life (1 Thessalonians 5:17).  We are listening ALL the time for God, watching ALL the time for God, and asking at every turn for the guidance of God.  We practice the presence of God in us and all around us, and intercession becomes the fabric of life rather than a special notation.

      Through this, we are called to be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  This refers to keep watch and not falling into sleep spiritually.  We cannot afford to fall asleep in our spiritual walk.  We must not fall into a rut or a pattern that is not alive and responsive to the Spirit.

 

      Father God, awaken in me the life of prayer and the warfare of the Spirit.  Show me the connected life that engaged in prayer at all times.  Teach me the careful attentiveness that is alert and listening for Your voice.  In Jesus’ Name.