Summary: This message provides practical advice for how believers can develop a more meaningful and powerful prayer life.
How to Get the Most from Your Prayer Life
You know…the Apostle Paul really knows how to end a letter with a BANG!
• First, he talks about Family and having healthy relationships. Talk about a much needed topic.
• Second, he teaches believers what they need to do in order to have victory over the attacks of Satan.
When you stop and think about it…these are two topics that believers today still need help with today.
Paul begins by challenging believers to Put On The Whole Armor of God! This armor has SIX pieces to it.
• Truth are to gird your loins.
• The Breastplate of Righteousness.
• Shodded feet with the preparation of Peace.
• Shield of faith.
• Helmet of Salvation
• Sword of the spirit.
Paul uses this illustration of a Roman Soldier to help believers understand that they need to be prepared for a battle…
• And that God provides protection that we can rely on in order to have victory.
But what is interesting is that this chapter doesn’t end here.
• At first reading you might think Paul is anti-climactic when he get’s to verse 18.
Come on Paul…you really had us energized and excited thinking about the Armor that God provides his children….
• It’s cool to talk about the shield of faith and the sword of the spirit.
And the reason he does…is because he wants to teach us another valuable lesson.
I. Understand the Importance of Prayer.
I am sure that wearing all that Armor is truly impressive….
• But the problem is…that if that is all you got…then you ain’t got enough.
You see, the Armor is great for providing protection….
• But we also need “power” in order to be victorious.
• A battle is not just about defense…it is also about offense.
• And the Lord wants to provide the energy we need in order to have Victory.
And that is exactly why we need to pray!
Yesterday I was asked to fill out a survey for my 25 high school reunion. One of the questions was to share some memories of my time at Colerain High. I was really struggling with coming up with something and Melissa said, “Why not share something about playing football. As soon as she said that a memory did surface, but not one that I really want to share. It was my sophomore year and we were playing Moeller. I was playing defensive back….I looked great in my uniform. I had my helmet, shoulder pads, back then we had the pads over our thighs and knees. I had my Armor on and I was ready for the battle…or so I thought. Moeller had a running back name Hiawatha Fransisco. He was a monster back with thighs bigger than my waist. It 3rd down, Moeller’s ball, and they had 24 yards to go for a 1st down. We all knew they would pass but they didn’t….they gave the ball to Hiawatha and he starts right up the middle and get through the line and then through the Line Backer’s. And he starts towards me…I knew I would be alright….after all I had on my helmet and shoulder pads. I was protected from head to toe! So I launched out at him to take him down to china town. Got a hold of him about thigh…..and 30 yards later he finally came down after I got a little help from my friends.
You see, I had was protected from head to toe…but I didn’t have enough power to bring him down!
Prayer is exactly what we need because Prayer is what gives us access to God.
• And access to God is where we get the power we need for the battle.
• And it is God’s empowerment that gives us victory over the spiritual battles that we will engage in.
So let me ask you….HOW IS YOUR PRAYER LIFE?
Do you feel like it is pretty strong? GREAT
Do you feel like it pretty good, but could use some work?
Do you feel like it is almost non-existent?
Regardless of the condition of your prayer life….this message is for you.
You see, Paul not only tells them that they need to pray, but he now gives some suggestions on how they can Prayer more effectively.
II. Instructions for Effective Prayer. 18
Great instructions can make all the difference in the world.
• Clear instructions can be the difference between finding your desired location and wandering around lost for hours at a time.
Yesterday I was the beneficiary of good instructions. My brother had invited me and the fam…to go to Ceasar’s Creek to wake board and tube. I knew I would have to leave early to get back to KY, so I told him to give me directions to the boat dock and I would meet him there. Well Precious Proceeds to give me directions and after a certain point, he stopped using street names or route numbers. Instead he replaced street names with barn’s and stores and advertisements that were along the road. I thought WOW this is going to be fun. But you know…his directions were so detailed without names of streets that I made it to the dock without one wrong turn.