June 24, 2018 at 1:36 pm #44842
Mari – AdministratorKeymaster
SWORDS Bible Study Eph 6:18B Praying in the Spirit
Last week we saw that the final piece of the armor of the believer is prayer. Our apostle Paul says that we should always be praying! In the Spirit!
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Ephesians 6:18)
Prayer is vitally important in the life of the believer because it is part of the process of renewing our spiritual lives.
Eph 4:22-24 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
As you can see, the only way to “put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts” (Eph. 4:23) is to do what Paul says in the following verse, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (v.24). That’s the only way to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (v.24), and win the spiritual battle against sin.
Prayer is a big part of our armor in this battle, it is part of this renewal process. If you are wondering how, Paul says:
Col_3:10 …the new man…is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Here Paul tells us that the new man must be “renewed in knowledge, that is, in a knowledge of the Word of God. It is the word of God that renews our mind, but the Word must be studied prayerfully.
The Bible is approached by some Christians as a mere textbook. They look upon Bible study as a mere academic exercise. Using this approach, facts and truth are added to the head, but not much happens to the heart. The word of God can only renew us when it is studied prayerfully.
So if we believe the word of God, if we trust the Lord, if we have a believed Him, we should endeavor to stay in constant communion with Him in prayer. It is essential to knowing Him, and essential if we want to be part of this spiritual battle for which the Lord is arming us with His armor!
The only way to win the battle with the old man, to put him to death, is to put on the new man by faith and be constantly renewed in the word. We can know who we are, where we are, why we are there, what and who we are in Christ…and when to move forward and when to hold our position. Enemy fire falls like dud missiles around us, and our shields catch the rest.
In our prayers we give glory to God!
In prayer we can acknowledge that He is our Creator God, Saviour, Leader, and Commander. When we come to Him in prayer, we are acknowledging that there is no winning in this spiritual battle without His directions, which we receive when we prayerfully study His Word! Without prayer we will be daily defeated. God alone gave us victory and gives us daily victory.
Prayer for me is conversation about what is on my mind and heart with my Lord. Prayer for me is praying for others! It is about doing what God wants me to do! It is about doing what is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour.
1Ti 2:1-3 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
I pray for the body of Christ, for my SWORD sisters, for pastors and missionaries, for nonbelievers, for help in learning His word, for understanding of His word, for spreading the word to others. For making the gospel of Paul, the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery (Rom 16:25) the gospel that I live by.
I pray as I meditate on His word, and when I do, frequently find precious answers to my prayers, and/or comfort and understanding of one doctrine or another. I repeatedly find reminders of the battle, not to sweat the small stuff, or even the big stuff, because He has provided us tools with the armour of God, and prayer brings peace!
Prayer is big! Prayer is a true pleasure of living in Christ, and comfort through all of our spiritual battles. Prayer changes believers, grows believers and can give us such joy, comfort and finding our strength in God, even in the midst of dark struggles!
Prayer is like the air you breathe spiritually. To live you must breathe, and without breathing, one dies pretty quickly. Without breath a soldier becomes too weak to even put on his armor, and without prayer we become too weak to put on OUR armor. We quickly revert to our old man’s ways and we are soon living a defeated life in the flesh, instead of the victorious life in Christ that we are meant to live!
When we are not talking or listening to God in His word within the KJ Bible, our focus narrows to our own life and problems. We turn inward and struggle to figure ourselves out, instead of prayerfully looking towards God in His Word for the bigger picture He has for our lives. You see, as members of the Body of Christ we are part of a much bigger representation than the tiny snapshot of our own personal lives!
Paul says in our text that we are to be praying “for all saints,” and yet we find ourselves more interested in what is happening in our own life, than the lives of the saints around us and around the world. It is my thought that if we do not fully understand who we are in the body of Christ, we will not be in much prayer for others.
It is natural for us to want to make our own requests known to God, and we should do this, and we should also be praying for the body of Christ. The Holy Spirit can help us in this weakness of everything being about our own life by shifting our center from ourselves to God and helping others. To help us with this, Paul tells us in our text to pray “in the Spirit.” Not in our spirit, but in the Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit of God. We are told that:
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
If we live in the Spirit we should also walk in the Spirit, which means we must also pray in the Spirit! And Ephesians 6:18 says that to pray “in the Spirit” is to pray “for all saints.” Praying in the Spirit also means praying in perfect congruence with the will of God. Read this, if you will, and meditate on His words to us:
Rom 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Charismatics often misuse these verses to say they are praying in the Spirit when they speak unintelligible words, which they call speaking in tongues. But as you can see here, as plain as day…when the Holy Spirit is making intercession for us…it is with groanings which CANNOT BE UTTERED! Cannot be uttered by whom? By us, whether we are charismatic or not!
What then does it mean to pray in the Spirit? It means to pray in accord with the will of God. We need to understand how prayer works in this dispensation of grace today! When we pray according to the will of God, rightly divided for instance, we won’t expect everything we ask for in prayer, believing the promise God made specifically to Israel (Mt.21:22).
It is impossible for a soldier to go into battle without knowing the will of his commander, without knowing what His objective is, and without remaining in constant communication with him. That’s why Paul has made prayer a part of our spiritual armor. Let’s not leave this important piece of our armor behind!
How do we pray in the Spirit?
The same way we believe God’s word, the same way we put on the armour of God, the same way we walk in the Spirit…by FAITH.
THE GOSPEL THAT SAVES
“I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved … that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
– 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (KJB)
June 28, 2018 at 10:12 pm #44885
🙂 So true – I related to the fact that we sometimes use the Bible as a textbook. I am slack with prayer. Thanks for the kick!
Sometimes when I do pray for people specifically and I use the Bible verses as a template (ie Pauls prayers but putting in peoples names..) I think – wow that it a neat prayer – I want some of that too and have to include so many others in the prayer including myself!