Summary: to teach the people the importance of being a intercessor
How To Be A Prayer Warrior
Primary Purpose: To teach the people the importance of being a intercessor
Back in 1993, I got sick with pneumonia. I was so wore out I would get short of breath talking on the phone. I remember a lady named Ruth who called me. She asked me how I was and then asked if she could pray for me.
What made Ruth remarkable was that she was a very sick person herself with congestive heart failure and other problems. She knew she was going to die soon. But, she still was focused on other people and praying for them. She did in fact pass away later that year.
I can remember she just started praying fo rme over the phone. She had a way of praying that was powerful and unique. I felt like I had just bene ushered into God’s presence. I remember thinking, Lord teach me to pray like that.
Sometimes we are guilty in ministry of telling people what they should do, but then not how to do it. We have been stressing prayer lately and now I want to get into specifics. I want to talk to you about how to be a prayer warrior. I want to talk to you about being a intercessor for others. To do that, we will look at one of Paul’s prayers in Ephesians 3:16-19 to get an idea of what he prayed for others about.
In Ephesians 3:16-19, we see Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus. Ephesus was a very large and diverse population that was primarily a sea port. It was located on the coast of the Aegean Sea. From there trade ships would come from places far and near, Egypt, Africa, Spain, Cyprus, Rome and many other cultures. It was also a place known for it’s temples to Diane and for sorcery and black magic. It was also a church that Paul deeply loved and cared about.
In Acts 19, the Bible tells us the Paul set up a school in Ephesus where he spent more than 2 years teaching in a rented lecture hall. From Ephesus preachers would be sent out to reach the rest of Asia. He starts off his prayer by saying that he is kneeling before the Father. He prays that God would give to them out of His glorious riches vs.16.
Paul expected for God to give out of his glorious riches. Paul expected God to do great things and prayed God sized prayers. Curtis Vaughan has said about this, “Let us learn from Paul’s inspired prayer that we can never strain the resources of God. He does not give grudgingly nor in meager portions, as if he were afraid he might exhaust his wealth. He gives according to the measure of his infinite fullness.” John Newton was once it this way:
“Thou art coming to a king;
Large petitions with Thee bring;
For His grace and power are such,
None can ever ask too much.”
This may be why Paul later says in verse 20 that God is able “to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” We will never be able to overwhelm God with a request or task that He cannot manage. Let’s pray big prayers for each other. This is the kind of prayers Paul prayed for others. God’s ability is infinitely greater than our ability to ask. God simply doesn’t have limits, boundaries or needs or questions.
Here in verse 16-19, we see at least 4 phrases that share with us Paul’s hearts desire for the believers there.
1. He prayed they would be strengthen with power vs.16. The evidence that God was at work was self evident among the early believers. They were bold in sharing their faith, there was evidence of a changed life, they were united in love and purpose, they were fruitful. God’s Word was evident in a fruitfulness in the believers lives. God doesn’t desire for us to live shallow Christian lives devoid of purpose or power. We should pray for each other that God’s power would be evident in our lives.
He is specifically praying that they would be strengthened in their inner being. He isn’t talking about just physical strength, but strength at the core of who they are. He wants Christ to dwell in their hearts. The word dwell there is the word KATIOKEO in the greek it means to settle down in a dwelling, to dwell fixedly in a place, permanence. In other words, he is praying that Christ would find a fixed place in your heart and be at home there, to have the run of the place. This means there isn’t a area of your heart that you don’t allow Christ to be at home at. A lot of people will give Jesus some of their heart, but hold back certain areas that he doesn’t want them to mess with. They don’t surrender all of their hearts to Him. Paul is praying that they would be completely surrendered to Him.