Introduction – The Importance of Prayer
The epistle begins with a praise/doxology to the Lord for granting all believers a heavenly standing before Christ and having the seal of our salvation by the Holy Spirit.
From the heights of God’s blessing, now we are ending with prayer and prayer is considered part of the armour of God – the words ‘pray’ and ‘watching’ are in their participle form (Eph 6:18) which implies that they apply to all components of the spiritual armour.
- Every piece of armour is maintained by prayer to ensure they are always battle ready.
“….the Christian armour will rust except it be furbished and scoured with the oil of prayer“ [William Garner]
- Without prayer, the whole armour will not be effective. Thus we must learn and remember how to pray.
The First “All” – Praying Always
Prayer keeps us dependent on God in a world where we are vulnerable, in the flesh and prone to Satan’s attacks – prayer is the language of creaturely dependence.
- Prayer is the breath of our Christian life
A Christian without a healthy prayer life is like a beached whale.
We should pray in both good and bad times (Proverbs 3:6)
- The object of our prayer is the living and true God
Prayer is made possible due to Christ’s propitiation, of which, Paul is grateful (Eph 3:12)
“He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him for the rest of the day“ [John Bunyan]
- Prayer is the believer’s strength
Let us regard prayer not as a chore/duty but as a privilege to come before God as having an intimate relationship with Him.
- Prayer should not be a last resort but as the primary response. Take time to pray.
Thought: The routine of life has made many complacent. Do we seek God and His grace for strength and forgiveness when we first wake?
The Second “All” – All type of Prayers
1. Self-centred prayers: treats God like Santa Claus and the process like a transaction.
2. Prayers in good and bad times: Job was faithful in prayer both when abounding and abased.
- Prayer comes first followed by supplication.
Adoration: praising and thanking God
Confession: admitting and hating the sins God hates
Thanksgiving: giving thanks for all the blessings that God has given us
Supplication: request for help in both our and the needs of others
3. Prayers made according to God’s will (praying in the spirit)
The Holy Spirit teaches us how to pray such that we pray according to God’s will.
The Holy Spirit makes intercession when we can’t find the words or are too troubled to express ourselves.
The more you know God’s word, the more you will know how to pray in the spirit.
Eloquence is not a priority in prayer but rather God looks at the heart.
- Remember God is the audience when you pray!
4. Prayers made in humility
Hypocrites pray for others to see but we should pray in secret for only God to see
Thought: Has the quality of your prayer remained unchanged for the last few years? Let us remember to pray first and submit our supplications later.
The Third “All” – All Perseverance
Persevere – obstinately devoted;
Through temptation: when we pray, we must be alert (stay alert) to the foes around us,
In waiting: Persevere through the times when God feels silent and we get discouraged,
For the needs of others: Persevere to pray for the needs of the church and its members,
For salvation: of wayward children or loved ones
- Persevere for the Lord hears and answers according to His will
(note: sometimes we interpret silence as apathy from God. Silence is meant to bring us back to the foot of calvary in humility not as an antagonizing tool)
The Fourth “All” – All Saints
Pray not just for ourselves but for the needs of others. The Lord’s prayer starts with “Our Father..” not “My Father..”
- Show no partiality in prayer. Pray for all brothers and all sisters!
- Don’t be shy, ask people to pray for you!
In conclusion, a praying church is a strong church. Thus, we should come for prayer meeting! Be strong in the Lord.