Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere. And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should. Ephesians 6:18-20 (NLT)
Over the past week we have been looking at what it means to get dressed for warfare – spiritual warfare – that which every Christian faces every day. So far we have sized up the enemy, and begun to dress for the battle. We have put on the:
· Belt of truth
· Body armor of God’s righteousness
· Sandals of the Gospel preparation of peace
· Shield of faith
· Helmet of salvation
We will finish this series tomorrow, but today we add one more vital tool for the soldier, and that is communication with the Supreme Commander:
Prayer in the Spirit
Prayer is a matter of unending communion with our Lord. In his book, Purpose in Prayer, E. M. Bounds quotes these words from former college professor and Confederate soldier, General Thomas Stonewall Jackson:
I have so fixed the habit of prayer in my mind that I never raise a glass of water to my lips without asking God's blessing, never seal a letter without putting a word of prayer under the seal, never take a letter from the post without a brief sending of my thoughts heavenward, never change my classes in the lecture-room without a minute's petition for the cadets who go out and for those who come in.
Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, Brother, the grass grows on your path.
If you are like me, that which troubles you every time the subject of prayer arises is:
How in the world can I develop a prayer-life?
I’ve got a zillion things to do – The kids won’t be quiet
The dog barks, the pot boils over, my boss hates me
My business and finances are in shambles
And April 15th is almost here!
Preacher – it’s not that the wolf is at the door…
that wolf has moved in and had pups under my kitchen table.
And YOU want me to pray?
My experience has been that we do not pray because we have not grasped the importance of prayer.
Chuck Swindoll tells in one of his books about a group of amateur climbers scaling part of the Matterhorn near Zermatt, Switzerland. As they came to a narrow, hazardous passage, about to make a turn, a gust of wind swept down on them. The experienced guide, knowing the danger this posed for the group, quickly shouted, Get down on your knees! You are safe only on your knees!
My dear Christian friend – time never surrenders itself on a platter; you will never have enough time to do all you have to do, until you take the time with Jesus in prayer.
You chew on that out on that Rocky Road today…and have a joy-filled and blessed day!
Today in the Word, Moody Bible Institute, 6-29-92
Charles R. Swindoll, The Christian Life, (Vision House, 1994), p. 223.