Summary: Prayer is personal constant communication with our heavenly Father and holy Commander in chief. We cannot stand as Paul tells us unless we are connected in communication by prayer.
Intro: A man’s wife invited some people to dinner. At the table, she turned to our six-year-old daughter and said, "Would you like to say the blessing?"
"I wouldn't know what to say," she replied.
"Just say what you hear mommy say," the wife said.
The daughter bowed her head and said: "Dear Lord, why on earth did I invite all these people to dinner?"
Now that is funny but it is unfortunately not what prayer is. Prayer is not the last resort it is our first resort. Our prayer lives will reveal a lot about what we believe about God. Prayer is essential on the battlefield of life to keep us in contact with our Commander in Chief Jesus Christ.
I. Praying in the Spirit is constant communication with our heavenly Father
Praying is conversation with God. It takes the control of the Holy Spirit in our life to want to talk to our heavenly Father. Rebellious kids don’t want to talk to their Dads!! They want to talk to their friends. All the while they are not realizing that their friends don’t have the answers they need!! When the Holy Spirit begins to reveal Jesus as the answer to all our life’s questions we will want talk to our heavenly Daddy.
A) Prayer is a deep dependence on God’s power
When we pray it is because we have finally discovered our own inability to change either ourselves or our circumstances. We discover the truth in John 15:16.
Paul says pray at all times. The word he uses is Kairos. Not sequential time but specific time. When we pray and request and recognize God we are redeeming the time of our lives. If you begin praying you will find there is more time in the day. Why? When you depend on God in prayer meaningless moments become .
This requires a deep dependence on God!! Prayer changes us! When we encounter God in prayer things change. Prayer is actually boldly entering the throne room of grace before the presence of our Father, our God, our Commander in the Spiritual warfare. What you spend the most time on is what you most rely on!
B) Prayer is a ready obedience to God’s commands
1) Stay alert – (6:18 “stay alert”) 1 Peter 5:8
What should first come to your mind is the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus asked them to watch and pray in 26:36-46. Three times he asked them to pray and three times they fell asleep. When we are not controlled by the Spirit there will be no desire or ability to pray. Paul makes clear that what “in the Spirit” is in Philippians 2:13 “For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”
The Spirt of God works in us to ask God for His will in our lives and the lives of those around us. To pray in the Spirit is to stay alert and ask God’s kingdom to come.
2) Stay after it (persevere)
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.”
What are we to stay after? The Lord’s prayer Matthew 6, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Jesus told us to stay after this. Why because when the kingdom comes in our marriages separation isn’t an option, when the kingdom comes on children they obey and respect their parents. When the kingdom comes on addicts they are set free. When the kingdom comes on churches they adopt orphans, help the homeless, mentor the fatherless, accept the rejected and glorify God!!
John 15:16 is surrounded by the command to love each other!! Stay after the powerful practical fulfillment of God’s kingdom on earth!
C) Prayer is a humble worship of God’s person
What do we leave out of prayer that is essential to our constant communication with our Father?
Psalm 100:4 (read)
1) Gratitude – Philippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
John 6:11 Jesus gave thanks and everyone ate till they were full
Praise is celebration of God for who He is!! Praise is celebration for what God has done! The Bible tells us in Psalm 150 with instruments and song and every breath praise God!! Psalm 103 praise him because of all his benefits. Praise is singing, serving, giving thanks, it is with every breath recognizing everything comes from God!!