The Whole Armor of God – Prayer

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • Prayer is spiritual warfare.  It is the supernatural provision of the Christian soldier—prayer, not just of the moment…but a constant spirit of prayer.  Prayer and the Word of God are the best things you have going for you. 
  • The Word – God talking to you. 
  • Prayer – you talking to God.
  • With all the armor mentioned in this passage of Scripture, it does no good if we neglect our prayer life.  We enter into spiritual conflict fully dressed and fully armed.  Prayer is essential.  We all live in a busy world, but not making time for prayer will hinder our walk with God and ultimately, if neglected for a long period of time, we will fall back into sin. 
  • Trust, confidence and assurance are necessary as we pray.  If we pray and do not believe our prayers will be answered, why pray?  We must face our spiritual battles with courage, and courage only comes by way of prayer and faith believing that God hears us and will answer.  Job’s faith was demonstrated in that he trusted God.  In Job 19:25 he said “I know that my redeemer lives.”   He did not have the law, not any part of the bible, but he had a relationship with his God.  Do you?  How close is it?  Could it be closer?  Well……make it closer.
  • Quick, minute prayers as a continual substitute for a consistent time alone with God will not work either.  We will very easily fall into the trap of Satan that we do not have time, too many distractions and on and on and on.  We then become a fast food prayer – instant gratification – order up – get our answer right away.
  • We can also become a bell-hop prayer.  “Go here – do this – I need – I need – I need – you provide – you provide – you provide.”
  • If our prayers are not continual, we will lose the assurance and confidence of God’s protection.  We must always maintain a constant unbroken sense of God’s presence and care; therefore we must not let our mind dwell on the things of this world.  We need to keep our communication line open with God.  As it is between spouses, if God never hears from us, He might question our love for Him. 

Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and it shall be given you; seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” 

Philippians 4: 6 – “Be anxious for nothing (don’t let anything bug you), but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” 

1 Chronicles 16:11 – “Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face continually.” 

John 16:24 – “Ask and you shall receive so that your joy may be full.” 

James 5:16 – “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” 

  • All the above require our action…IF we do what we can do…God will do what we cannot do.
  • Be mature – no “Now I lay me down to sleep” prayers.

Hebrews 5:13-14 – “For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” 

Isaiah 55:6-7 – “Seek the Lord while He may be found call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.  Let him return to the Lord and He will have mercy upon him and to our God for He will abundantly pardon.” 

  • The Christian soldier must be willing to pray and, if necessary, give up sleep and food.  We must concentrate and persevere in prayer, sometimes being so intensely at prayer that we forget about the necessities of life, such as sleep, food, rest, and entertainment.  These activities are not in and of themselves sinful, but prayer must become a more pressing priority.

Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation.”  

  • We are to pray for those with authority over us…civil leaders, the President, our governor, our senators, our representatives, military leaders and soldiers, mayors, school officials, law enforcement, judicial system….pastors, deacons, elders, musicians, instructors, school teachers, work place supervisors, anyone that has a position of authority.  Whether you voted for them or not, whether they are Democrat, Republican or Independent.  God says pray for them.
  • The soldier must pray unselfishly.  The soldier is not in battle alone…for all of God’s people are facing similar situation.  We need to pray for each other.  We must pray for each other.

1 Timothy 2:1-2 – “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

1 Thessalonians 5:17 – “Pray without ceasing.” 

Luke 22:26 – “Pray always.” 

 Ephesians 1:15-16 – “Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.”

1 Samuel 12:23 – “Moreover, as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you.”

THE TEN-FINGER PRAYER

  • Hold up your hands – you have ten fingers – this verse has ten words. 

Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

  • Yes I can, but I need to cover the situation in earnest prayer.

The Whole Armor of God – Sword of the Spirit

Ephesians 6:10-20

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.  Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 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, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

  • The sword of the Spirit is the Word of God.  The sword was a weapon used for both defense and offense.  The sword was used both to protect and to fight off and slay the enemy.  The sign of the Christian soldier is his use of the Word of God.  By living in the Scriptures, he protects himself from the onslaught of the enemy; and he fights and wins battle after battle, day after day.  Remember:  Jesus Christ Himself overcame the onslaught of the devil by using Scripture.

Matthew 4:4 – “But He answered and said, ‘It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

Matthew 4:7 – “Jesus said to him, ‘It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’” 

Matthew 4:10 – “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Away with you, Satan!  For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

Hebrews 4:12-13 – “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.  And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. 

Psalm 119:9 – “How can a young man cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word.”

Psalm 119:11 – “Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You.”

Psalm 119:105 – “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

1 John 1: 5, 14 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.  And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

  • The Word is your true offense/defense.
  • In Matthew 4:  “It is written; It is written; It is written.”
  • Psalm 119:89 – “Forever, O LORD, your word is settled in heaven.”
  • God said it, that settles it!!!!

MY NEVER AGAIN LIST:

  • Never again will I confess I can’t, for “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Philippians 4:13
  • Never again will I confess lack, for “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 4:19
  • Never again will I confess fear, for “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  2 Timothy 1:7
  • Never again will I confess doubt and lack of faith, for “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.”   Romans 12:3
  • Never again will I confess weakness, for “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1; and “the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”  Daniel 11:32
  • Never again will I confess supremacy of Satan over my life, for “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”  1 John 4:4
  • Never again will I confess defeat, for “God who always leads us in triumph in Christ.”  2 Corinthians 2:14
  • Never again will I confess lack of wisdom for “Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God.”  1 Corinthians 1:30
  • Never again will I confess sickness, for, “by His stripes we are healed.”  Isaiah 53:5; and “He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.” Matthew 8:17
  • Never again will I confess worries and frustration for I am “casting all my care upon Him, for He cares for me.”  I Peter 5:7
  • Never again will I confess bondage for “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”  2 Corinthians 3:17
  • Never again will I confess condemnation, for “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.”  Romans 8:1

Walking in Wisdom

Ephesians 5:15-21

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

WALK CAREFULLY – The word “circumspectly” means to “walk carefully accurately, sensitively as a person would walk through thorny terrain.” 

  • Foolish man walks unthinking, thoughtless.  He gives little thought to his daily routine – where he should go – what he should do.  If he makes a mistake, he does not matter much to him.  Making mistakes is just the human way of life.
  • Wise man walks carefully.  He knows he is on a mission.  He knows God personally and he knows that he is on earth to show forth the love and the righteousness of God.  Mistakes matter to him.

Galatians 5:16 – “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust (the strong desires) of the flesh.”

Colossians 2:6 – “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established (made firm, secure) in the faith, as you have been taught….”                    

1 John 2:6 – “He who says he abides in Him ought also himself to walk just as He walked.”

USE TIME CAREFULLY

  • Do not waste the days/weeks/months/years God has given us.  We have all been given the same number of hours in a day.  We will give an account to God of how we used them.

Psalm 90:12 – “So teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

Ecclesiastes 12:1 – “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth; before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them.” 

  • Use the time because the days are evil and the opportunity to do well may not last.
  • Opportunity to witness will pass.
  • Opportunity to speak up will pass.
  • Opportunity to love will pass.
  • Opportunity to work hard will pass.
  • Opportunity to give will pass.

UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL – To “understand” means to “grasp, perceive, comprehend.”

  • Know God’s Word

John 8:31-21 – “If you abide (take up residence, live in) in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know (perceive, understand, come to know, realize) the truth, and the truth shall make you free (liberate, deliver).

2 Timothy 2:15 – “Be diligent (exert oneself, make every effort, strain every nerve) to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”

2 Timothy 3:16 – “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.”

Psalm 119:9, 11 – “How can a young man (or woman) cleanse his way?  By taking heed according to Your word.  Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.”

  • Allow the Holy Spirit to lead you.

John 14:26 – “But the Helper (from Greek parakletos means “called to one’s side)”.  The word signifies an intercessor, comforter, helper, advocate, counselor.  An attorney who appears in court in another’s behalf.), the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 16:13 – “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come.”

Romans 8:14 – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”

BE FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT

  • Leave drunkenness alone.  The Greek here refers to being intoxicated with drink or drugs.  This type of sin is so wrong for the Christian because it leads to other sins of the flesh.

1 Corinthians 6:10 – “Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards…shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

  • Allow the Holy Spirit to fill you.  The infilling of the Holy Spirit is the personal manifestation of Christ to the believer.  It is a consciousness of His presence, of His leadership–moment by moment.  However, this is an automatic experience.  The responsibility of being filled with the Holy Spirit rests with the individual. 
  • The term “be filled” is in the present tense which means “to continually being filled”.  It is not a one time experience.  It is an ongoing life of daily yielding to the Holy Spirit and allowing Him to lead and guide each aspect of our life.

John 14:21 – “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.  And he who loves me will be loved by My Father and I will love him and manifest (to cause to shine to reveal, to presents oneself to the sight of another) Myself to him.

A Study of the Gifts of the Spirit

Charisma – a gift of grace, an endowment upon believers by the operation of the Holy Spirit in the churches.

Charis – grace, that which bestows on occasion pleasure, delight, or causes favorable regard; divine favor freely dispensed.

Gifts of the Spirit – a spiritual gift of God bestowed upon the believer by the power of the Holy Spirit in and by the grace bestowed or given by belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior (see Romans 12:6).

Pneumatikos – plural, pneumatika; from pneuma which means spirit, breath, wind.  Literally means a “spiritual,” that which pertains to, or proceeds from the Holy Spirit. Therefore, any of the following might be applied here:  The gifts, manifestations, impartations, emanations, endowments, matters, things, effects, powers, workings, aids, graces or favors of the Holy Spirit.

Major Lists of the Gifts of the Spirit

Romans 12:6-8, 13

  1. Prophecy
  2. Ministry
  3. Teachings
  4. Exhortation
  5. Giving
  6. Ruling (leadership)
  7. Mercy
  8. Hospitality

Ephesians 4:11

  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Evangelists
  4. Pastors
  5. Teachers

1 Corinthians 12:8-10

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge
  3. Faith
  4. Healing
  5. Miracles
  6. Prophecy
  7. Discernment of spirits
  8. Divers kinds of tongues
  9. Interpretation of tongues

1 Corinthians 12:28

  1. Apostles
  2. Prophets
  3. Teachers
  4. Miracles
  5. Healings
  6. Helps (hospitality)
  7. Governments (administration)
  8. Diversities of tongues

NOTE; Only one gift is mentioned in all four of the major lists of the gifts. Attributes or manifestations that might be classified as a gift although not necessarily called a gift in scriptures

Some Examples of the Gifts of the Spirit

  1. Ephesians 2:18-20 – Apostles and prophets
  2. Acts 13:1 – Prophets and teachers
  3. Acts 15:32 – Prophets and teachers
  4. Galatians 2:8-9 – Leadership and apostles
  5. 1 Peter 5:1-2 – Elders (leadership)
  6. 2 Corinthians 8:1-2 – Giving
  7. James 5:14-15 – Faith and healing
  8. Acts 21:8-10 – Evangelists and prophets
  9. 1 Corinthians 9:1-2 – Apostles
  10. 2 Timothy 4:5 – Evangelists
  11. Acts 11:27-28 – Prophets
  12. Acts 20:28 – Overseer (leadership
  13. 1 Timothy 5:17 – Rulers (leadership) and teachers
  14. Acts 19:11-12 – Miracles
  •  Are all the gifts of the Spirit still active in the church today?

Most Pentecostal and charismatic churches say that they are still active.  Other churches (Methodist, Baptists and mainline denominations) say that the sign gifts are no longer used in the churches today.

Whatever you believe…take and use as God blesses.  Pray that the gifts of the Spirit you believe are still active are available to you and your church.

  •  Spiritual gifts are not natural talents or human abilities. These talents/abilities are God-given but not a gift of the Holy Spirit.
  •  What is the role of the Christian in his/her use of the Gifts of the Spirit?
  1. 1 Corinthians 13 – to be used with love (not gits without love, but gifts controlled by love)
  2. 1 Corinthians gives specific guidelines for the use of the gifts in the church
  3. Ephesians 4:12 – these gifts are given to to equip the saints, to edify the church
  4. 1 Peter 4:7-11 – purpose of gifts it to ultimately bring glory to God
  5. Colossians 3:23 – all we do, how we use our gifts it to be done for the Lord, not for people
  • Fruit of the Spirit:  love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, *faith (faithfulness), meekness, temperance.  These are all found in Galatians 5.  The gifts of the Spirit are exercised in accordance with the fruit of the Spirit.

Five Steps Toward Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts

  1. Explore – Study the Scripture concerning the gifts
  2. Experiment – Question, pray, ask yourself, “Do I have this gift?”
  3. Examine – Examine your feelings, makeup, personality, temperament.
  4. Evaluate – Evaluate the effectiveness of your gift.
  5. Expect – Expect confirmation from the Holy Spirit/the body of Christ.

Faith is listed as a gift of the Spirit and also as a fruit of the Spirit.  More appropriately, it should read faithfulness in the list of the fruit of the Sprit.