10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 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 Lord’s people. - Ephesians 6:10-18
We have been looking at the armor of God that is available to every Christian. It is to be put on each and every day in order to defend ourselves from spiritual attacks. We are also to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. It is not a suggestion but a way of life. We are called to pray without ceasing. Just like a soldier on the battle line has to keep in constant communication with his commanding officer, so we must be connected to the Lord. You can be fully equipped with all the armor, but if you are not connected to your headquarters then it could lead to isolation which leads to being vulnerable for a major attack.
Praying in the Spirit is not praying in tongues. It means that the Spirit helps us communicate with the Father, interceding for us. The Spirit knows what to pray and we are to be in the Spirit. It is the same as Jesus telling the woman at the well to worship God in Spirit and truth. It’s not about repeating the same thing over and over again, but praying from the depths of your soul. The Holy Spirit wants to guide us in all truth. He empowers us to be victors in Christ. As we rely on Him daily, we become transformed into the image of Christ.
Another part of praying is listening. We rest in the presence of the Almighty and we listen. God speaks and we respond. He will lead us to accomplish His holy purposes that can bring complete freedom and confidence. On Sunday, we had a time of response at the end of the service. There were several people who came down to empty themselves of something that was standing in the way of freedom in Christ. Whether it was an oppressive situation, thought, or major foothold, people came down and laid it on the empty tomb. This morning we took each one of the sticky notes and prayed for each one of them. We are so blessed that God has raised up prayer warriors to pray for our needs every Wednesday morning.
Satan is going to do all he can to keep you from wearing the armor of God and praying by getting you so busy that you will not even try. Don’t fall for his lies. Saturate in the word of God and always be alert. Many are just one prayer away from shedding the weight of the world.
This Sunday we will be baptizing several people. If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and have not been baptized, then consider coming on Wednesday night at 6:30pm, across from the offices, and learn more about what Believer’s Baptism is and how God called us all to step through the waters of Baptism. You will be glad you came. It is always good to hear stories of how God is at work. May God continue to work on your heart as you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Joy in Jesus!
Rev. Mike McClurg
Senior Pastor, Findlay First Church of the Nazarene