Summary: When we approach Christ in prayer, he will assist us in building healthy relationships
How to Pray for My Relationships
(Approach Christ in Prayer)
Introduction: This is week eight in our series on building better relationships. Today we’re going to wrap up this series. We’ve been studying how we can build healthy, god-honoring, Christ-centered relationships. All of life is lived out in the context of relationships. In fact, the most important thing in life is relationships. As hard as it is to believe, nothing else really matters. Everything boils down to relationships.
Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Marriage is not an institution. It is a relationship.
Parenthood is about relationships.
The Church is about relationships.
At work, you must focus on relationships.
People come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior because of relationships.
Everything is about relationships. That being the case, where do you think the devil will hit you in an attempt to derail your faith and damage the church? He will target your relationships. That is exactly why we have been studying Ephesians 6:10-18 and applying it to the context of relationships.
Ephesians chapter 6 is Paul’s well-known passage on spiritual warfare and the Christian’s armor for fighting the battle that we call life. Every aspect of that armor can be brought to bear on our relationships and that is why we have called our study over the past two months, “Eight Essential Exercises for Building a Better Body.” We’ve taken the armor that God provides for the believer and used each individual piece as an exercise that can be used to build up the body of relationships through which we experience life.
Read with me from Ephesians 6:10-18 again.
Ep. 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Ep. 6:11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
Ep. 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ep. 6:13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ep. 6:14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
Ep. 6:15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
Ep. 6:16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Ep. 6:17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Ep. 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
As we have studied this passage of scripture, we’ve talked about allocating strength from the Lord. We’ve covered the need to ground our relationships on and wrap them in integrity and truth. We’ve explored the need to access the righteousness of Christ. We have studied the role that faith plays in our relationships. We have examined the power of the Gospel in our relationships. We have considered the need to allow Christ to change our thoughts, our minds, so that our relationships honor him.
Last week we explored the role that the Word of God plays in our relationships. There can be no positive, Godly changes in our lives or in our relationships if we do not make the Word of God a central component of our lives. The Word of God, the Bible, is what enables us to change our minds. The Bible is God’s Word, it is living, it is powerful, it penetrates to the heart of the matter and it changes us from the inside out allowing us to build relationships that honor Christ.
Today we are wrapping it all up and tying all of these exercises together as we study how prayer impacts our lives and our relationships. It is through prayer that we put on the armor. It is through prayer that we are able to practice the various exercises needed to build this body of relationships into a healthy, God-honoring body. If we really want to make godly change happen in our relationships, we must approach Christ in a true spirit of prayer. Prayer is the greatest weapon we have in defending and strengthening our relationships
Much of what Paul wrote about dealt with relationships. He was always very practical in his application of spiritual truths. Consider the last half of the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 4:1-16 … Living in unity and co-operation in the local church.