“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” –Ephesians 6:18
Scripture Reading: Luke 11:1-13
It would do a soldier little good to be completely outfitted for battle and then fall asleep when he is fighting or on guard duty. It is our prayer life that keeps us alert and ready to use the other parts of our armor when necessary. Prayer is indispensible to the Christian. “Prayer crowns all lawful efforts with success, and gives a victory when nothing else would. No matter how complete the armor, no matter how skilled we may be in the science of war, no matter how courageous we may be—we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can give the victory, and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by prayer, he may be sure of a triumph. This prayer is not to be intermittent: It is to be always. In every temptation and spiritual conflict, we are to pray” (Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, Michigan, p.1015).
We are to pray all types of prayers: in the closet, with family, in meetings, when tempted, for ourselves, for others, etc… and we are to do it with the aid of the Holy Spirit. We are to guard against things that would hinder prayer and not to become discouraged or disheartened.
Prayer should also be for all Christians, “1) because they are our brethren—though they may have a different skin, language, or name. 2) Because, like us, they have hearts prone to evil and need with us, the grace of God. 3) Because nothing tends so much to make us love others, and to forget their faults, as to pray for them. 4) Because the condition of the church is always such that it greatly needs the grace of God. Many Christians have backslidden; many are cold or lukewarm; many are in error; many are conformed to the world: and we should pray that they may become more holy, and may devote themselves more to God. 5) Because each day many a Christian is subjected to some peculiar temptation or trial: and though he may be unknown to us, yet our prayers may benefit him” (Ibid).
- What does God, who is our Gatherer, expect us to do? Matthew 7:6-8; Philippians 4:4-6; I Peter 5:6-8; Psalm 50:15.
- What must accompany our prayers? Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24-26; James 1:5-6.
- What is an important element in our desires? John 15:7-11; I John 5:14-15; I John 3:22-24.
- What important lesson did Jesus teach about prayer? Luke 18:1-8. What did Paul admonish and what else should be included? I Thessalonians 5:17; Colossians 4:2; Psalm 105:1.
- How can we be assured that when we pray for something we will not get a substitute? Matthew 7:9-11.
- What should answered prayer do for us? John 16:23-24.
- Consistent, meaningful prayer is hard work, what help is available to us? Romans 8:26-28; Jude 1:20-21.
- What can prayer accomplish? James 5:13-16.
- Besides watching for opportunities to pray, what other watching is necessary? Revelation 16:15; Matthew 25:13.
- Do we need to be prodded, because of time? Romans 13:11.
Do you keep a prayer journal? If not, you should consider it. In it you would record your prayer requests, answers to prayer, and the things you feel that God is telling your spirit. Write in your journal the names of missionaries, pastors and church workers that you have a burden for. Write the names of those with whom you are in conflict: pray for your enemies! You’ll find that once you get started, you will just keep adding to your list of things to pray for. Never again will you struggle to remember what to pray about. And what a blessing to go back and remind yourself and others how God has blessed you through answered prayer. If your prayer time is flourishing or struggling, a prayer journal will enhance and aid your time before the Lord. Start today!