OceanSide church of Christ




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THE ARMOR OF GOD

 

Prayer

Victor M. Eskew

 

INTRODUCTION

 

A.   Our last several Sunday evenings, we have been studying, “The Armor of God.”

1.     We began with a lesson on “Spiritual Warfare.”

2.    We then turned our attention to the armor of God itself.

a.    Our loins gird about with truth

b.    The breastplate of righteousness

c.    The sandals of the preparation of the gospel of peace

d.    The shield of faith

e.    The helmet of salvation

3.     Last week, we started to examine our weapons.  We examined the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.

 

B.   Tonight, we want to look at the final element of the armor of God.

1.     We classify it as one of our weapons.

2.    The weapon under discussion is “Prayer” (Eph. 6:18).

 

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.

 

I.          A COVERT WEAPON

 

A.   The word “covert” means “concealed, secret, hidden.”

 

B.   The Word of God is something we literally bring to the table with us as we study with another person.

 

C.   Prayer, on the other hand, is something we do in our closets (Matt. 6:5-6).

 

And when thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are:  for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.  Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.  But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

 

II.        PRAYER IS A POWERFUL WEAPON

 

A.   In his model prayer, Jesus instructed us to pray beginning with these words:  Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name… (Matt. 6:9).

1.     Jesus instructs us to pray to the heavenly Father.

2.    For us, this is of utmost importance.  We are tapping into the most powerful force in the universe.

a.    Two verses:

1)     In Genesis 17:1, God introduces Himself to Abram, saying:  I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

2)    Revelation 1:8

 

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

 

b.    Two points:

1)     There is no force that we will confront more powerful than God.

2)    There is nothing that is impossible for our God to do.

 

B.   We have to be convinced that our prayers truly tap into this powerful force.

1.     The promises have been given.

a.    Psalm 34:17

 

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles.

 

b.    Proverbs 15:29

 

The Lord is far from the wicked:  but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

 

c.    James 5:16

 

…The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

 

d.    I John 5:14

 

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us.

 

2.    The examples have been provided.

a.    Jacob wrestled with God and prevailed (Gen. 32:24-30).

b.    Hannah prayed for a son and was given Samuel (I Sam. 1:9-21).

c.    Hezekiah prayed for his life, and was given fifteen more years to live (II Kings 20:1-6).

d.    In II Chronicles 14, Asa led his army against the Ethiopians, prayed to God, (v. 11), and won the battle.

e.    In II Chronicles 20, the Moabites and Ammonites came against Jehoshaphat, and he gathered Judah together and they asked for the “help of God” (v. 4).  God answered their prayer and set ambushments against their enemies (v. 22), and Judah won the battle without firing a shot.

 

C.   Romans 8:31

 

What shall we say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?

 

 

III.      WHAT TO PRAY FOR

 

A.   We should pray for opportunities

1.     Opportunities may be apparent or not so apparent.

2.    An opportunity may come many times, or, only once.

3.     Opportunities may come while we are experiencing difficulties (See Phil. 1:12-13).

 

But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which have happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel; so that my bonds in Christ are manifest in all the palace, and in all other places.

 

B.   We should pray for good and honest hearts.

1.     Jesus noted four different soils, that is, hearts, in the Parable of the Sower.

2.    Only one soil-type, however, will produce fruit, some 30, some 60, some 100 fold (Luke 8:15).

 

But that on good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

 

C.   We should pray for the individual’s salvation (Rom. 10:1).

 

Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

 

1.     This is much like praying for our bread (Matt. 6:11).

a.    We cannot just sit around and think God will bring food and drink to us.

b.    God can help us get a good job which pays well so we can purchase food to prepare and eat.

2.    God can put us in the right place with the gospel so we can teach an honest and good heart the gospel of Christ.

 

D.   We should pray for boldness, that is, courage to speak the will of God.

1.     This is what the early church prayed for when threats began to be decreed against them (Acts 4:29).

 

And now, Lord, behold their threatening:  and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.

 

2.    Paul asked the church at Ephesus to pray for his boldness (Eph. 6:19-20).

 

And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

 

 

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

A.   Our armor, if worn properly, is invincible.

1.     Nothing can penetrate it.

2.    Nothing can overcome it.

 

B.   All of our armor has something to do with God and His Word.  Thus, all of our armor is divine in nature.

 

C.   Ephesians 6:13-18

 

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having your loins gird about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:  praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.