Summary: Last in Series on Ephesians 5-6. Preached on Father’s Day, 2002

Ephesians 6:18-20

Eph 6:18 ISV Pray in the Spirit at all times with every kind of prayer and request there is. For the same reason be alert with every kind of effort and request for all the saints.

Eph 6:19 ISV Pray also for me, so that, when I open my mouth, the right words will be given to me. Then I will boldly make known the secret of the gospel,

Eph 6:20 ISV for whose sake I am an ambassador in chains, desiring to declare it as boldly as I should.

Father’s Day

Men’s Thesaurus

THE MEN’S THESAURUS (men don’t always say what they mean) – excerpts:

When a man says: "IT’S A GUY THING" He means: "There is no rational thought pattern connected with this, and you have no chance at all of making it logical"

When a man says "CAN I HELP WITH DINNER" He means: "Why isn’t it already on the table?"

When a man says "UH HUH, SURE HONEY,” or “YES, DEAR" He means: Absolutely nothing – It’s a conditioned response.

When a man says ’’IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN" He means: "I have no idea how it works"

When a man says "TAKE A BREAK, HONEY. YOU ARE WORKING TOO HARD’’ He means: "I can’t hear the game over the vacuum cleaner"

When a man says ’THAT’S INTERESTING DEAR.’ He means: "Are you still talking?"

When a man says "YOU KNOW HOW BAD MY MEMORY IS." He means: " I can remember the theme song to ’F Troop’, the address of the first girl I ever kissed & the vehicle identification numbers of every car I ever owned – but I forgot your birthday"

When a man says ’OH, DON’T FUSS, I JUST CUT MYSELF. IT’S NO BIG DEAL" He means: "I have actually severed a limb, but I will bleed to death before I admit I’m hurt"

When a man says ’I CAN’T FIND IT.’’ He means: "It didn’t fall into my outstretched hand, so I’m completely clueless"

When a man says “I HEARD YOU.” He means: "I haven’t the foggiest clue what you just said and I am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you’ll not spend the next 3 days yelling at me."

When a man says "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE" He means: "I am used to the way you yell at me and realize it could be worse."

When a man says "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC!" He means: "Oh please don’t try on one more outfit, I’m starving."

When a man says "I’M NOT LOST. I KNOW EXACTLY WHERE WE ARE.’’ He means: : "No one will ever see us alive again."

Our fathers have given us so much… They take care of us so well. I remember the time in the ninth Grade when I failed to get the lawn mowed. It was my job and I didn’t get it done. I asked my dad if it was ok to go to a track meet inspite of that fact. He told me go ahead. Later that day I saw him mowing the lawn as I rode by on the bus. Thanks Dad!

Our spiritual father has given us much too! We have been given all we need to win the battle of a lifetime.

The Armor of God! Remember the description of the armor available to the Christian in the battle of a lifetime – the battle for our souls! There is the belt of Truth; The breastplate of righteousness; The shoes of the gospel of peace; The shield of faith; The helmet of salvation; and The sword of the Spirit

Now imagine having the armor and not using it. Imagine preparing for a battle and discarding the equipment given to you to protect yourself with and to prosecute the fight.

That would be sort of like:

…Going golfing and not taking golf clubs with you. (Not that it would make a huge difference in my case!)

…Going shopping at the mall without money, credit cards, or checkbook.

…Going to play for the Red Wings and not taking ice skates or hockey sticks.

…Going to college and not attending classes, taking notes, reading the assigned books and then taking the final exam.

Now, How foolish would that be? Anyone who would do these things would be regarded as foolish at minimum – more likely as just plain stupid. Why? Because they had the resources they needed to complete the task and they didn’t use them.

If there is anything made clear in the letter the apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesians it is this one simple fact: We are in a spiritual battle for our very lives.

This fact cannot be overstated. It is not merely a matter of personal discipline, self actualization, will power, or better self-esteem. It isn’t simply a matter of providing enough education, job opportunities, or governmentally mandated entitlements.

We are in a battle that is in the spiritual realm. This ins not merely a physical, flesh and blood, touch-feely, earth bound skirmish that you can win with your own determination and experience.

No this is a battle where if you rely on your physical prowess you will be pitting peashooters and slingshots against laser beam death rays and Vulcan Mind Melds. Hopeless!

Imagine a battlefield stretching across the face of the universe. Imagine Angels searching out demons who are hiding behind galaxies and inside black holes. And on earth we see a protracted conflict. A spiritual guerrilla war where every soul is a unworldly scuffle over the eternal disposition of that person. There is a firefight for each and every one of our souls – the goal being conquest and possession.

God did not leave us helpless in the middle of this great cosmic fight.

We have all we need to fight the good fight.

We have the armor, the weaponry, the mission and the means to hold on to the final victory. What is that means? Prayer! To Go into battle without praying; to begin the day without praying; to enter into a decision without praying; to start your marriage without praying; to teach a class without praying; to consider one plan for the future without praying; to dream one dream for your life without praying is to enter into this spiritual realm powerless, helpless, hopeless, and useless.

Our fire is the fire of the Holy Spirit! This isn’t about self help; self confidence; or self determination. It isn’t about you. It’s about Him. God. His Spirit. His battle. His enemy.

It’s like we are caught in a great cosmic crossfire between the creator God and the great pretender

Stay down and use the weapons that really work.


The Authority of Prayer

When we pray we are to pray “in the Spirit” Here is the source of our power. In the spiritual realm we must have spiritual power.

There is no reference to the baptism of the Spirit, to tongues, to the gift of, or gifts of the Spirit. Nor is there a reference to the fruit of the Spirit. No, We are told to pray “in the Spirit”.

Here is the problem… We think the Spirit of God is an “it”. We tend to thing of the “spirit” of God as a thing, a tool, a vending machine giving out gifts and blessings when the right levers are pushed or pulled. We view the Holy Spirit as an instrument to be used in our lives.

This is just plain wrong. The Holy Spirit is GOD in a personal form. He is a person – not the person of the creative and purposeful almighty Father – that’s God in heaven. He is a person – not the person of the God in the flesh – that’s Jesus of Nazareth. He is a person in the form of a mystical presence. He is real and he is in us. He is God.

Let me give you a very real description of how it works… God (the creator and purposeful Father) so loved us that He sent His son Jesus (the person of God in the flesh) to give His life as a sacrifice for our sin. He was wounded in death on Friday and on Sunday the Holy Spirit (the powerful spiritual presence of God) quickened the body of Jesus and gave Him new life.

Now here is where it gets really good and exciting. By our identification with that power through our acceptance of Jesus as Lord and Savior, we are bonded to Him through our faith, changed by our repentance, sealed with our baptism and made new in our rebirth.

This has been done! The territory of our souls have been ripped from talons of Satan and delivered into the hands of God.

Three times in Eph 6 we are told to stand firm

Listen to me, God has not given his son to die on a cross and win the ground for your life only to have you lose the territory in the first skirmish for your life.

He took the territory. He won it with the blood of his son. And he didn’t do it to win a battle and lose the war. We are called to do one thing – Stand Firm; Hold the ground! Jesus took it now you hold on!

We have been given the armor and we are told to pray! With this we hold the territory and it is ours.

The Power of Prayer

We are to go to God in the Spirit “with every kind of prayer” We are to go to God with thanksgiving, with petitions, with groanings to deep for words. There is no prayer too small and none to large to take to God.

Pray For Me

Service had started, and the minister began his sermon in our small country church in southeastern North Carolina. Everyone’s attention was on the intense words being delivered to us that would feed us for the week and enlighten us on God’s word.

Because our church was so small, there was no nursery. This gave me the privilege of having my active three-year-old daughter sit with her father and me.

Along with being active, Tammie had a gift for words - that is, speaking them - and had not yet mastered the art of understanding that quietness was of the utmost importance in church, especially when the Sunday morning sermon was being delivered!

After many admonishments to be quiet, Tammie’s father picked her up to take her outside for a little conference.

This was not the first time such an event had taken place, and she understood its significance. She also obviously understood the significance of prayer!

For as her father picked her up and was walking down the aisle to carry her outside, Tammie reached over his shoulders with her arms outstretched to the congregation and the minister. She then proceeded to call out to all who would listen, "Ya’ll pray for me!"

Needless to say, it was a few minutes later before we could get back on track with the sermon. Guess it proves we are never too young to "let our requests be known!"

by Donna Kay Heath (c) 1998, from A Second Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne and Marci Shimoff.

The US Military has a doctrine called “Overwhelming Superiority” What that means is that when we send in our troops we send them with everything we have. We send in every airplane in the arsenal with smart bombs, dumb bombs, cruise missiles, air to ground missiles and if we have to we start tossing kitchen sinks. We send the Navy Seals, the Army Rangers, the Delta Force, and the Green Beret. We send in our troops with overwhelming superiority.

We need more Power!

In fact we need to be like Tim Tayor on Tool Time – More Power!

The reason we the church is powerless and that individual Christians are powerless in the face of the addictive nature of sin is because we aren’t praying enough. We can’t hold the ground if you don’t establish air superiority. Prayer Power.

The Scope of Prayer

The full agenda: every kind of prayer and request there is…

The full agenda of our purpose and mission as the people of God is on the prayer list – every day – all day.

Pray all the time – Bullet Prayers

Floyd Pierson, a retired Africa Inland Mission worker, was a man who literally prayed "on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." So habitual was this that in his seventies, when he went to take a driver’s test, he said to the examiner, "I always pray before I drive -- Let’s bow our heads together." The official likely wondered what kind of a ride he was in for! We can imagine him checking his seat belt and setting his perspiring hand on the door handle. Needless to say Pierson passed!

R. Kent Hughes

Disciplines of a Godly Man.


We are to bombard the heavens with our prayers

The Necessity of Prayer

The “essence” of Prayer is about being in harmony with God. It is not asking for stuff from God.

It is being so connected to God that we become conformed to his will for us. When we pray with the Spirit we pray in harmony with the thoughts of God. We join with his purposes and submit to his will. This is the secret of having His power in us. Having a life that is fully aligned with His will.

The enemy has us believing lies. I can’t overcome this habit of drugs or pornography. I can’t get away from this bottle of alcohol. I can’t break this cycle of despair and depression. There is no saving of this marriage. I can’t be the husband and father God wants me to be. I can’t be the wife and mother God wants me to be.

These are not God’s will for you! God wants you free from sin and free to be whole – It can be done only through Prayer!

There is a story of a pioneer father and son. They were traveling across the Great Plains when a lighting storm set the grasslands on fire. When the wind came up the fire was swept across the land like a tidal wave of smoke and flame. There was no way to escape the flames by trying to out run them so the father stopped the wagon and with his shovel he dug a trench in a large circle. After it was completed he set the grass inside on fire and when it burned out he moved his wagon and his son into the blackened circle and waited for the wild fire to sweep down on them. They escaped the destruction because they burned out an area and then they stood their ground.

The goal of prayer is to give us victory in the face of a defeated enemy that doesn’t know he’s already licked.

Let’s Pray!