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Summary: A tale is told about a small town that had historically been "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern.

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"Our Awesome Weapon - Prayer!"

"Knowing Our Enemy" series - Part 7 of 7

Text: Eph. 6:18-20 & Selected

Cross Creek Community Church

August 13, 2000

God’s Word is Powerful, Relevant, and Up to Date!

Ephes. 6:18-20

"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. 19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."

Today we will be looking at our awesome weapon - PRAYER - last part of our series "Knowing our Enemy"

The Tavern

A tale is told about a small town that had historically been "dry," but then a local businessman decided to build a tavern. A group of Christians from a local church were concerned and planned an all-night prayer meeting to ask God to intervene. It just so happened that shortly thereafter lightning struck the bar and it burned to the ground. The owner of the bar sued the church, claiming that the prayers of the congregation were responsible, but the church hired a lawyer to argue in court that they were not responsible. The presiding judge, after his initial review of the case, stated that "no matter how this case comes out, one thing is clear. The tavern owner believes in prayer and the Christians do not."

Why Christians Sin, J. K. Johnston, Discovery House, 1992, p. 129

* What do you think about prayer? Do you receive answers to your prayers?

* A Christian enters the conflict fully dressed in armor -- yet there is something else which is essential -- prayer.

* Prayer holds our armor together, prayer puts the enemy to flight!

Matthew 21:13 "It is written," he said to them, "’My house will be called a house of prayer,’..

1. Pray in the SPIRIT. V18"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.

What does it mean to "Pray in the Spirit"?

John 4:24 "God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."

* Praying in the Spirit always begins with worship, having a proper focus on God and who he is.

* Walking clean, with our sin confessed - holy Holy Spirit filled lives.

* Our enemy cannot stand worship and praising God in the Spirit as we pray.

* This is praying with fervency (hot), expectancy and anticipation, knowing we are in God’s presence.

* We are saved by faith, we also pray in faith -- knowing who our God is! Faith gives birth to prayer.

* Lord, increased our faith -- Lord teach us how to pray: faith and prayer must be exercised to grow.

* As we walk by faith and learn to pray it nourishes our soul as we go through trials and tribulations.

* Do we really believe that God really rewards those who diligently seek Him? YES by faith!

* An earthbound, carnal, worldly satisfied spirit cannot pray -- we need to see the eternal, the invisible.

Mau Mau Uprising

During the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya in 1960, missionaries Matt and Lora Higgens were returning one night to Nairobi through the heart of Mau Mau territory, where Kenyans and missionaries alike had been killed and dismembered. Seventeen miles outside of Nairobi their Land Rover stopped. Higgens tried to repair the car in the dark, but could not restart it. They spent the night in the car, but claimed Psalm 4:8: "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." In the morning they were able to repair the car.

A few weeks later the Higgenses returned to America on furlough. They reported that the night before they left Nairobi, a local pastor had visited them. He told how a member of the Mau Mau had confessed that he and three others had crept up to the car to kill the Higgenses, but when they saw sixteen men surrounding the car, the Mau Mau had left in fear. "Sixteen men?" Higgens responded. "I don’t know what you mean!" While they were on furlough a friend, Clay Brent, asked the Higgenses if they had been in any danger recently. Higgens asked, "Why?" Then Clay said that on March 23, God had placed a heavy prayer burden on his heart. He called the men of the church, and sixteen of them met together and prayed until the burden lifted. Did God send sixteen angels to represent those men and enforce their prayers?

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