Summary: - of all the great themes that are included in this book – Paul chooses to close this wonderful letter by addressing the topic of prayer
“Sustained By Prayer”
OPEN: This morning we come again to the 6th chapter of Ephesians, and for the last time because we’re going to be finishing our study of this marvelous book this morning. This is I think the 37th message on the book of Ephesians – we began studying in Sept. of 08. Even though we’ve been well over a year studying this Book we haven’t really begun to plumb all of the riches and the depths that are here.
So as we end our study of this great book we are going to be talking about the topic of prayer. - of all the great themes that are included in this book – Paul chooses to close this wonderful letter on addressing the topic of prayer. Prayer becomes the closing theme in the Letter of Ephesians. It is not mentioned as apart of the Christians armor, because it’s more than that. Prayer is to be woven into the everything as the Christian prepares to do battle. As we are arming ourselves with the belt of truthfulness and the breastplate of righteousness and the shoes of the Gospel of peace and the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, all the while that we are engaged with those elements we are at the same time involved in prayer. “Praying always.” All through the procedure of arming ourselves, all through the demands of the battle, all through whether it’s the heat of the war or a lull we are engaged in prayer.
I think that if I asked the question, “Do you pray enough?” most of us would say no, right? I think that’s probably been the story for most of the ages – if we asked people in the church down through the ages, “Do you think you pray enough?” most people would say no. I think that most groups have a few – a few prayer warriors - who pray a lot and pray continuously – but generally I think the average person struggles with this issue of prayer and neglect this area.
You might think in a Book with such tremendous resources prayer wouldn’t be very necessary, what
would be to pray for? For example listen, according to chapter 1 verse 3, we are super blessed, according to chapter 1:4 - 6 we are super loved, according to1:7 we are forgiven and redeemed, 1:8 says we are given wisdom, 1:11 says we are made rich, 1:13 says we are secure, sealed with the Spirit, 2:4-6 we are alive with new life, 2:7 we are the objects of eternal grace, 2:10 we are God’s masterpiece,
Again 2:10 we are called to a life of good works which God will do through us, 2:13-18 we are one with
God and with every other Christian, 2:19 we are members of God’s intimate family, 2:22 we are the very habitation of the Holy Spirit, 3:20 we are powerful beyond our own imagination, 3:21 able to glorify God.
And when you move from there into the 4th chapter it just keeps going, in 4:3 we are told we possess the
living Spirit of God in us, in chapter 4 verses 4 to 6 we are members of the body of Christ, in 4:11-13 we have received gifts and gifted men to perfect us to do the work of the ministry. In 4:20-24 we have Jesus Christ to teach us to walk a new life, in 5:1-2 we’ve received the love of God so that we can walk in love, in 5:8 we have received God’s very light so that we dwell in light, in 5:15-17 we have received the wisdom and the truth of God so that we can walk wisely in the world, in 5:18 we have received the power of the fullness of the Spirit of God, in 5:21 through 6:9 we have received the resources to make every human relationship all that God ever intended it to be. Finally in 6:10-17 we have received invulnerable, invincible, fantastic, powerful armor, against which Satan is hapless and helpless, if we use it. Climaxing itself in the sword of the Spirit, the magnificent weapon of the Word of God which is in the hand of every believer.
Our Victory Begins In The Heavenlies – But It Ends On Our Knees
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Eph. 1:3)
Realistically the entire book of Eph. is a recitation of all the blessings we have received through Christ. This is a victory book. - The book starts out with teaching us where our victory orginates – in ehaven – in the heart of God who wants to fill your life with blessing upon blessing – that’s where our victory begins – but it is completed on our knees in prayer. Not completed in the sense that we are adding something that is lacking –but completed in that we are accessing the power that is needed to see us to the end of the battle.