Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. When we look at the spiritual armor verses it may be easy to stop too early when reading them. Right after Paul writes to take out the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, Paul follows with the above verses. Does he mean we might pray "without" the Spirit? I think he must believe that, and Paul in writing to the Ephesians brings to mind the need to be led by the Spirit in prayer. What does this mean?
Prayer, powerful prayer, impacts everything!! James wrote this in his letter James 5:The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. I don't know about you, but when I pray, "I want results!" Otherwise, why pray? I think in our apathetic world we have "dumbed down" even our prayers. So sad, but true. We use words like "I will pray for you" and then lift up a half-hearted effort that might even mention the name of the person we are praying for and think we have done our Christian duty. Prayer is so much more than deciding I am going to commit to pray for 40 days, or some other "Christian" function and cannot figure out why nothing happens. No power! No change! NOTHINGNESS.
Elijah prayed and no rain fell for three and a half years and then when he prayed again the sky sent down rain and the earth began to yield its crops. Read it in James 5:17-18 where it also says that Elijah was as human as we are. But do we say "How presumptuous of Elijah, like he can pray with power and we can't? Oh no. The problem with our prayers is "We are much too human" in our thinking. The very verses I referenced at the beginning of this blog speak to the fact that we are in a spiritual battle and we fight that battle with "spiritual weapons." When looking at the armor of God I have always seen that the majority of the battle armor are defensive weapons, and only the sword of the Spirit is a weapon of offense. But I was wrong. Because the very next weapon of offense is "praying in the Spirit at all times, on every occasion." We can buy illustrations of the armor of God, buy plastic toys for our children, and illustrate these verses to the max, and yet we leave out one of the weapons...praying in the Spirit.
Paul knew he couldn't even speak the right words without people praying for him and he says that in Ephesians 6:19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.
Paul shows us where the power for living comes from and it is prayer!! Paul also wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Never stop praying.
Without praying in the spirit we have no power to live the born-again life that impacts the world. But praying in the Spirit opens up a powerful life of commitment and service that is vibrant and world-changing. Do you want to change your world? Pray in the Spirit! Do you want to be a world-changer? Pray in the Spirit! Do you want to see God move in power? Pray in the Spirit! When we received Christ He gave us the Holy Spirit, so praying in the Spirit is a natural thing for us. Praying in the Spirit is the "new you" way of living. Time to wake up the new you and start "lining up" with the Spirit's call and let Him guide you. Your world will never be the same. God is waiting to hear His Spirit pray through you and He will answer and "move." God will move heaven and earth at the prayers of His children, and you bank on that truth. The story below is a good illustration of God answering prayers.
While crossing the Atlantic on an oceanliner, F.B. Meyer was asked to address the first class passengers. At the captain's request he spoke on "Answered Prayer." An agnostic who was present at the service was asked by his friends, "What did you think of Dr. Meyer's sermon?" He answered, "I didn't believe a word of it." That afternoon Meyer went to speak to the steerage passengers. Many of the listeners at his morning address went along, including the agnostic, who claimed he just wanted to hear "what the babbler had to say."
Before starting for the service, the agnostic put two oranges in his pocket. On his way he passed an elderly woman sitting in her deck chair fast asleep. Her hands were open. In the spirit of fun, the agnostic put the two oranges in her outstretched palms. After the meeting, he saw the old lady happily eating one of the pieces of fruit. "You seem to be enjoying that orange," he remarked with a smile. "Yes, sir," she replied, "My Father is very good to me." "Your father? Surely your father can't be still alive!" "Praise God," she replied, "He is very much alive." "What do you mean?" pressed the agnostic. She explained, "I'll tell you, sir. I have been seasick for days. I was asking God somehow to send me an orange. I suppose I fell asleep while I was praying. When I awoke, I found He had not only sent me one orange but two!" The agnostic was speechless. Later he was converted to Christ. Yes, praying in God's will brings an answer.
The Pilgrimage Continues...