Pray at all Times
Mar 12, 2022 // By:Dave // No Comment
this armor of the Lord (as we discussed last week)
is “live in Christ” “live like Christ”
every piece of armor is a name for (or attribute) of Jesus Himself
Ephesians 6 armor of the Lord might read more like this (if we focus on Christ more than pieces of armor)
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord together and in the strength of His might.
11 Put on the Jesus Christ, so that you will be able to stand firm as one against the plans, traps, and temptations of the devil.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against an organized army of demons all around you.
13 Therefore, hold up and be protected by Jesus Christ Himself, so that you will be able to resist on the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm, resist and not give way.
14 Stand firm and alert therefore, letting His truth keep you from becoming entangled and deceived, and let the righteousness of Jesus Christ keep you blameless before your Father,
15 and be prepared with the gospel of peace wherever you go, whatever homes or town you touch;
16 in addition to all, lift up your faith in Jesus Christ and let it protect you from all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
17 And let the fact that you received salvation from Jesus Christ keep you through all trials and attacks; and let the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, be the tool we use to fight in this world (a tool of unshakable discernment from the mouth of God Himself.
This passage is NOT a command to work yourself up emotionally each day by imagining oneself putting on pieces of armor
IT IS a command to submit to the Lord, be humble and admit our total dependance upon Him
for our strength, our patience, our Love. (everything worthwhile we can do for the kingdom must be accomplished by letting Christ live through us or it will not be accomplished at all.
the armor of the Lord passage ends with these last 7 verses which not only complete the armor passage, but also ends the epistle to the Ephesians as well.
these verses however are not the summary of the letter, that was in verses 10-17, and 18 (which I did not cover last week)
Eph. 6:18 ¶ With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
the original greek text, according to multiple commentaries, shows a comma at the end of verse 17, not a period.
(so there is a little debate over whether the instruction for constant prayer is attached only to verse 17 or to the entire armor of the Lord
If you prefer to keep the period, then you must apply the necessity of prayer to all the armor (if a comma, then the last two (salvation and the Word take the attachment)
The application to all the armor is obvious so I will spend my time offering an explanation for the latter idea
(I do not favor one over the other)
this means that verse 17, referring to helmet of salvation and sword of Spirit which is the Word of God, are to be taken up with prayer and with keeping alert found in verse 18.
the attack would be clearly imminent against these two parts of our relationship with Christ.
remember , the armor of the Lord is the “putting on Christ”, the “abiding in Him”
what better way to take out the christian soldier, than to attack his eternal security and His understanding and application of the Word.
This is why God tells us to
“pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints”
I used to play on online MMO called World of Tanks.
(my favorite tank to use was a german Jaegar (meaning “hunter”) it was basically a slow moving sniper in the world of tanks)
but while it was slow, it had a long reaching precise shot.
if I missed, the enemy not only felt the missed mark, but also had opportunity to find my location and shoot me before I could reload.
I had to make my shot count and I quickly learned where the strong points and weak points were on different tanks
all tanks had some common weaknesses (tracks, rear of turret, etc
each brand of tank had unique weaknesses as well
(including where their fuel tank was and ammunition since I could blow the entire tank up if I could hit those marks)
I learned that focusing my attack on crucial areas was effective combat.
Don’t you think the enemy would know how to do this to each of us ?
Don’t you think our flesh would learn the best ways to trip us up as well ?
we all have common armor (despite differing personalities)
and that means common attack against a couple of these pieces of armor is universally effective battle strategy
Without eternal security the believer is forced to resort to always trying to stay on Gods “good side” and never understands the adopted child position, only as a servant
There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. 1 John 4:18
Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus Rom 8:1
Without proper understanding of the Word , we fight blindly
(We walk in the dark)
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path Psalm 119:105
All Scripture is inspired by God and beneficial for teaching, for rebuke, for correction, for training in righteousness; 2 Tim 3:16
Prayer is the means to “hold onto both of these aspects of Jesus
Salvation and The Word (which is He)
the external enemy is opposed to you praying
the world system is opposed to you praying
your flesh is opposed to you praying
for each piece of the armor, as strong and mighty as their physical metaphors may be
each one of them has a place where it interfaces with the wearer
each is made of leather
prayer is the leather for:
the belt used to gird yourself up
the straps on your breastplate
the thongs holding the shoes on your feet
the handle on the shield
the chip strap on your helmet
the wrapping on the handle on the sword
prayer is how we properly put on the Lord (it’s how we abide in Him)
Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus Rom 8:1
for those who are IN HIM (not those who know of Him, or those who put a fish on the back of their car)
James brother of our Lord)
talked about prayer (proper handling and improper handling of this interface between man and the kingdom of God)
James 1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “aI am being tempted 1by God”; for God cannot be tempted 2by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone.
James 1:14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
lust ἐπιθυμία epithumia 38x
any strong desire directed toward an object.
Robertson’s Word Pictures takes the greek for “carried away and enticed by his own desires” and offers this idea
“a fish sees bait on a hook, desires the bait and bites it, it then hooked and pulled out of the water where it belonged to a place where it does not belong and cannot do what it was meant to do”
it requires admitting that God is right and we are not (no matter how good our way may seem at the moment)
(there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end, it is destruction)
a perspective and faith that we can only have and apply when abiding in Him
our flesh (and external enemies) will do everything possible to pull us out of this perspective
as fast as a hungry fish can be pulled out of it’s water once it takes the bait.
James 1:21 Therefore, aputting aside all filthiness and all 1that remains of wickedness, in 2humility receive bthe word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
James 1:22 aBut prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
James 4:1 ¶ What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?
James 4:2 You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
James 4:4 You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
James 4:5 Or do you think that the Scripture speaks to no purpose: “He jealously desires the Spirit which He has made to dwell in us”?
James 4:6 But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.”
James 4:7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
the connection between resisting the devil (and our flesh which he desires to use against us) and submitting to God is undeniable
Eph 6:10-18 remind us that the war of resisting is the constant choice of putting on Christ (abiding in Him)
if the armor of the Lord is a lamp in our room, the prayer is plugging the lamp into the outlet
prayer is mentioned 141 times in the NT
- loving our enemies (Matt 5:44)
- avoiding hypocrisy and being rewarded in private sincerity (Matt 6:5)
- God ordaining timing of events (Matt 4:20)
- being refreshed and strengthened (Matt 26:36) (Mark 6:46) (Luke 5:16, 6:12, 9:28) Lord
- blessing others (Matt 19:13) Lord
- exercise and display of faith (Mark 11:24)
- proclaiming authority over demons (Matt 17:21)
- communion with God (Matt 21:13)
- establishing courage to follow the Father’s plan (Matt 26:42) Lord
- freeing ourselves in forgiveness (Mark 11:25)
- not lose heart (Luke 18:1)
- avoid temptation (Luke 22:40-46)
- seek guidance or clarification (Acts 1:24, 10:9)
- intervention and miracles (Acts 12:5)
- invites the Spirit to pray with us and for us (Rom 8:26)
- avoid weakness and become strong and complete (2 Cor 13:7-9)
- asking for perseverance and keep us alert (Eph 6:18)
- asking for boldness to share the gospel (Eph 6:19)
- asking for His love to abound in us (Phil 1:9) in knowledge and all discernment
- asking for filling with knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding (Col 1:9)
- asking for empowerment to be worthy of the calling (2 Thess 5:25)
- spreading of the Word (opening of doors) (Col 4:3 , 2 These 3:1)
- all men to lift up holy hands without wrath and dissension (1 Tim 2:8)
- effective fellowship through knowledge for Christs sake (Philem 6
- good conscience, conducting ourselves honorably (Heb 13:18)
- over the suffering and sick (Acts 28:8, James 5:13-14)
- confessing our sins to one another and healing as a community (James 5:18)
- prosperity and health in proportion to one’s soul’s prosperity (3 John 2
- thanking God (Phil 4:6, Col 1:3, 1:9, 4:2, 1 Thess 1:2)
James 5:17 Elijah was aa man with a nature like ours, and bhe prayed 1earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for cthree years and six months.
James 5:18 Then he aprayed again, and bthe 1sky 2poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.
this part is explaining how our prayers participate in what is called the “dignity of causation
1 kings 17
Eph. 6:19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Eph. 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Eph. 6:21 ¶ But that you also may know about my circumstances, how I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make everything known to you.
Eph. 6:22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, so that you may know about us, and that he may comfort your hearts.
Eph. 6:23 ¶ Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Eph. 6:24 Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.