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Victory Through Prayer

Ephesians 6:18-20 • May 11, 2022 • w1363

Pastor John Miller continues our study in the book of Ephesians with a message through Ephesians 6:18-20 titled, “Victory Through Prayer.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 11, 2022

Sermon Scripture Reference

Follow with me as we read Ephesians 6:18. Paul says, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” There’s an old saying that says, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” The best way to face the enemy, Ephesians 6, is on your knees. Bunyan, in his Pilgrim’s Progress has Christian on the way to the Celestial City. When he encounters Apollyon, the devil, he finds himself kind of flustered to use the sword of the Spirit and actually puts it back into the sheath and gets back on his knees all clad in his armor. I have several illustrated copes of Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. This is one of my favorite pictures, a picture of Apollyon hovering over Christian with all of his armor on with hands folded and on his knees praying to the Lord to give him strength in the battle. Without prayer, none of the aspects of the armor would be of any avail unless we put them on and use them with prayer. Prayer is the power of God at work in the life of the believer.

We come to the end of our series on the armor for battle, Armed For Battle. We discovered three things in our series that I want to remind you of. First, we discovered who the enemy is, verses 11-12. Go back with me for just a moment. Paul says, “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We spent the whole evening talking in depth about the devil, our enemy, and who he is. Verse 12 says, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” In verses 11-12 we talked about the enemy that we face. Then, we moved to the armor that we wear in verses 11 and 13. Notice it with me. “Put on the whole armour of God.” This is where we get the phrase the whole panoply of God. In other words, it all fits together, it all goes together, and must all be worn if I’m going to be victorious in my battle against the enemy.

Notice verse 13, Paul again says, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,” so twice, verses 11 and 13, he makes specific reference not only to the armor of God but the fact that the entire armor needs to be used in our battle against the enemy.

Thirdly, we need to rely on God’s power. These are the foundations, the basics: Know the enemy, put on the armor, and rely upon God’s power. Notice verse 10, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” It’s not our power, it’s not our strength, it’s His might; so we may be weak, but He is strong. Paul said that we can find strength by relying upon Him in our weakness. Paul said, “…when I am weak, then am I strong.” It doesn’t matter how strong you are when you are wearing the armor and relying upon His power that you can stand against the wiles of the devil.

Remember when David went out as a young boy…we love the story of David and Goliath. David went out with just a sling and a few stones, and Goliath had all that armor on. David said, “You come to me with a sword and a shield, but I come to you in the name of the LORD.” Amen? It wasn’t like, “These are really wicked stones. Watch out, Goliath. I’m really a good shot with this slingshot,” and he was, but he says, “I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts whom you have defied.” It’s not our strength. It’s “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit,” we overcome the enemy. The answer is, verse 18, the power that we draw from God through prayer, and this is how we put on each piece of the armor. The power is obtained through prayer and reliance upon God, and we put on the armor—and this is very important; if you’re taking notes, write it down—by prayer.

Go back over it with me real quick in verse 14. It says, “…having your loins girt about with truth,” this is the belt of truth. How do you put on the belt of truth or walk in truth but by prayer. Secondly, we have the breastplate of righteousness. We appropriate that through prayer. In verse 15, we had our “…feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” we pray, “Lord, fill me with Your Spirit. Give me boldness, and help me preach the gospel to the world around me.” In verse 16, we have also, “…the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” We take up that shield by turning to God in faith, praying, trusting, and relying upon Him. Then, we find we have “…the helmet of salvation,” which comes to us by faith in Jesus Christ, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Verse 17, we have “…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” so we must pray, read the Bible, appropriate God’s Word, and use our prayer and the Scriptures to go out and face the enemy. Paul closes with, “Praying always,” verse 18.

If you study the armor of God, you’ll find that a lot of people omit verse 18 from the list on the armor. Not everyone includes it in this list, but I think in context it is to be tied in with the armor of God. You don’t want to just stop in verse 17 with the helmet of salvation or the sword of the Spirit, you’ll want to move into verse 18 and realize that all of this is of no avail unless you put the armor on through prayer and go to battle day by day, moment by moment, relying upon God in prayer.

Someone said in the beautiful gospel song, “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus,” Stand up, stand up for Jesus, stand in his strength alone; the arm of flesh will fail you, ye dare not trust your own. Put on the gospel armor, each piece put on with prayer; where duty calls or danger, be never wanting there. Even in this gospel song they incorporated this concept that we put on the armor of God by prayer.

If you’re taking notes tonight, I want to list five aspects of prayer that we need for victory in our battle with the devil. There are five aspects of prayer found in this text, this one verse. This one verse is just pregnant with spiritual truth about prayer. I encourage you to write them down, and I want you to see them in the text. The first is continual prayer. What kind of prayer puts on the armor and defeats the enemy? It’s those who pray continually. Look at verse 18, Praying always,” that’s the statement. The phrase, “praying always,” literally means on all occasions or in every situation. It means that we are constantly, habitually, continually living in an atmosphere and an attitude of prayer. Do you know that you can be talking to God no matter what you’re doing? You can talk to God while you’re driving on the freeway. As a matter of fact, if you’re driving in California on the freeway, you better be talking to God rather than talking about other drivers. You’re constantly talking to God, and you’re lifting up your heart to God in prayer. I like the concept of on all occasions or in every situation.

When do you usually pray? Some say, “Well, I pray every morning when I eat my cereal, ‘I thank You for my food.’ And then, I pray at noon, Pastor John, whenever I eat my lunch, ‘God, thank You for my sandwich or my hamburger.’ I usually pray for my In-N-Out burger.” I actually pray in tongues over my In-N-Out burger. I’m kidding. “Then, I pray again at dinner time, ‘Lord, thank You for this food and bless it to our body,’ so I’m a man of prayer. I’m an awesome man of prayer.” That’s not really what the Scriptures are talking about.

Write down 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we got it on Sunday morning where Paul says, “Pray without ceasing.” I think he’s talking about the attitude of prayer, obviously not the act of prayer, we can’t give up everything and just be on our knees praying. It means that we’re always continually praying and talking to God. Develop that kind of prayer life where you just talk with God. I like the statement I heard just this week from another pastor. He said, “Prayer is simply talking to God.” Do you want to know what prayer is? Talking to God. Some of you can talk real well. Some of you are super talkers. You have no problem talking to people, why do we have a problem talking to God? He’s our Father in Heaven, and you can, figuratively speaking, crawl up in His lap and just talk to Him. Those are the best ways to pray, just talk to Him. Tell Him everything—everything that’s happening. He knows, but He wants to hear it from you.

I have several grandchildren, I’m kind of lost for a minute how many grandkids I have. I think I have seven, right? I’m looking for my wife. They reach that one age where they’re real talkative, and then they get a little older, preteens, twelve or thirteen, and they don’t talk quite as much. I remember that with my kids as well. They get older and don’t really want to quite talk as much. A father loves to talk to his children. He loves to hear from his children, at least I do. When they’re in that real talkative stage, it’s just like music to my ears! I just soak it all up because I know that they’re going to reach an age when they’re not really talking that much anymore, so I want to hear from them. I believe that God, our Father in Heaven, has the same attitude. He wants to hear us talk to Him as His children.

Write down Luke 18:1. You can actually write down Luke 18 and make a note that this is an entire chapter on prayer. There’s no surprise because one of the themes in the gospel of Luke is prayer, which is consistent with another theme in Luke, that is, Jesus is the Son of man. It’s the gospel that emphasizes His humanity, so naturally it would emphasize the prayer life of Jesus. If you want to know what Jesus had to say about prayer, the gospel of Luke has more on prayer than any of the other gospels. In Luke 18:1, he says, “…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” One of the reasons we faint in the battle is because we’re not praying; or we faint in life or faint when we get weary of life’s circumstances is because we’re not praying. He went on, and I’ll come back to it in just a moment, to give the parable of the unjust judge. He’s wants importunity or He wants us to be consistent in our prayer in that parable. The phrase, “praying always,” means we pray at good times, we pray at bad times; pray when you’re up, pray when you’re down; pray when you’re sad, pray when you’re glad. It doesn’t matter.

Write down James 5:13. James says, “Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms,” so if you’re afflicted or sad, you pray. If you’re happy, you sing psalms, you praise the Lord. Whatever your mood, whatever your circumstances, it’s inconsistent to say, “Well, I don’t feel like praying.” Whatever is going on around you, pray, pray, pray, pray. Prayer should be continual not sporadic, a habit and not an isolated act, continually talking to God.

Here’s the second kind of prayer that we need if we’re going to be victorious in the battle against the enemy, that is, varied or different kinds of prayer. This is seen in verse 18 again, notice it with me, in the phrase, “…with all prayer,” or all kinds of prayer more literally. He says, “Praying,” which is the general term for prayer, “with all prayer,” and then begins to specify what kind, “and supplication,” so varied prayers. Not all praying is the same kind of praying. It’s talking to God, but it takes on different facets or different aspects. We pray continually, and we pray with variety. Prayer is not just asking for things from God. We get the idea that prayer is when I need money or I need a healing or I want the weather to be nice or we need rain or I need something, that’s when we pray, but prayer takes on different aspects. I heard of a girl who prayed and said, “Lord, I’m not going to pray for myself, but would You give my mother a handsome son-in-law?” Sometimes we try to get around the idea that, “Okay, I can’t keep asking for things all the time, but I won’t pray for myself but I’ll pray in a different way.”

Let me break it down for you. I listed seven, seven different varieties to prayer. This is not exhaustive, but I encourage you to write them down and think about them in your prayer life. The first is petition—asking God to do something. The second is intercession—asking God for someone else. It’s praying for someone else. This ties in with supplication which can be either for yourself or for someone else. Petition is asking God for something; intercession is asking God to do something for someone else, interceding. Then, there’s confession—telling God I have sinned. Who doesn’t need to confess their sins? Everyday, “Lord, forgive me for that thought,” or “Forgive me for that harsh word,” or “Forgive me for my complacency or apathy,” or “Forgive me for wasting time today,” confession. First John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

The fourth would be thanksgiving—thanking God for what He has done. It’s always time to give thanks. The fifth is adoration—thanking God for who He is. Thanksgiving is thanking God for what He’s done and for what He’s given us. Adoration is thanking God for who He is. It’s a wonderful, wonderful way to pray. Study the attributes of God, get acquainted with God in the Bible, and pick some of them out and say, “Thank You for Your love. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your patience. Thank You for the fact that You’re with me everywhere I go, You’re omnipotent, You’re all powerful, You’re omnipresent, and You’re eternal, You’re holy, You’re righteous, You’re just.” Just begin to thank Him and praise Him for His attributes. That’s adoration.

The next is supplication. We have it twice mentioned in verse 18 of our text, and that’s asking earnestly and humbly for something that I need or someone else needs. The phrase “supplication” conveys the idea of praying earnestly, fervently, brokenly, humbly; where you just feel overwhelmed in a moment of need and you cry from the depth of your heart—deep unto deep. I think of Peter when he was going to walk on the Sea of Galilee. It was one of the shortest prayers in the Bible, but it was answered by the Lord and he was delivered. When Peter was sinking, because he got his eyes off of Jesus and looked at the waves and the wind and the storm, he said, “Lord, save me!” That’s all he said. He didn’t say, “Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come…,” he would’ve hit the bottom of Galilee. Nor, did he say, “In Jesus name!” at the end of it. Can you imagine Peter going under in the ocean and, “You forgot Jesus’ name! Come on, Peter. Come on. I can’t help you until you tag on the magic word.” He just cried out in a moment of need.

How many times have you been there? I have. Or you just get overwhelmed about some pressing situation, “Lord! Oh, Lord! Please help me!” and you cry out to God or you’re burdened for someone else. Supplication is quite often used for that where you’re so burdened you just cry out in brokenness and humility and earnestness for someone else, “Lord, please save!” The Bible in the book of James says, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man,” or woman, “availeth much.” That’s a description of supplication.

The seventh is conversation. We have petition, intercession, confession, thanksgiving, adoration, supplication, and conversation, which is simply talking to God about what’s going on in your life. “How You doing today, Lord?” or “I’m feeling sad,” or “I’m feeling glad,” or “Lord, be with me today as I drive to work, and help me with this situation, with this project.” Everything that concerns your life, concerns Him. I love that Scripture that says, “Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee.” There’s another verse very similar to that where the psalmist says, “Roll thy burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you.” Just talking to Jesus—casting your cares upon Him, giving Him your burdens and your cares. How wonderful that is!

Some people have put aspects of prayer into an acrostic with the word A-C-T-S. A standing for adoration; C standing for confession; T standing for thanksgiving; and S standing for supplication. We see that in verse 18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication,” so we pray for ourselves earnestly and others.

Remember when Jesus gave us a pattern for prayer in the Sermon on the Mount? We know it commonly as the Lord’s prayer; but it’s really not the Lord’s prayer, it’s the disciple’s prayer. He actually said, “This is how we should pray, ‘Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name,’” so it starts with the relationship, He’s our Father; and it starts with worship and praise, “Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done,” and prayer’s purpose is to get God’s will, not our will, done. Then He says, “Give us this day our daily bread,” at that point we go into petitions and then supplications, “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,” in confession. It’s all contained in that disciple’s prayer.

It’s interesting, there are no personal pronouns in the Lord’s prayer. It’s not, “Give me, guide me, help me.” It’s not, “My Father in heaven,” it’s “Our Father,” so when we pray, we need to remember we’re part of a family, and we’re going to see we pray for all saints in this text, so we need to pray for one another. One of the super important things about being a part of a church fellowship and being connected with the church fellowship is that they can pray for you, we can pray for one another in a time of need. You can also pray for others in the church as well. It’s so very, very important. Remember that Paul said in Philippians 4:19, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus,” not our greeds, but our needs. Remember that prayer is aligning my will with the will of God; so we read the Bible, we know God’s will, and we pray accordingly and know that we have what we ask because we’re praying according to His will.

Let me give you the third type of prayer that brings victory, if you’re taking notes, Spirit-directed prayer. Look at that in verse 18. Paul tells us, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication,” then he says, “in the Spirit,” stop right there. In the book of Jude 20, Jude says, “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,” Spirit.

What does it mean to pray in the Holy Spirit? It doesn’t need to be that big of a deal or that complicated to know, but let me tell you three things it’s not. It’s not exclusively or particularly referring to praying in tongues or the gift of tongues or using your gift of tongues to pray. That can be a way to pray in the Spirit, but that’s not what he’s talking about in this text. In 1 Corinthians 12:30, I want you to write that down, Paul actually says, “…do all speak with tongues?” it’s a rhetorical question expecting a “No,” answer. Not everyone is given that gift. I happen to believe that gift is still available today. I’m not a cessationist. I believe that that gift, and all the gifts, are still available today, but it’s not given to every Christian and is not an indication that you’re Spirit-filled. You can be Spirit-filled and you can be spiritual without the gift of tongues. As a matter of fact, I happen to know people who have had the gift of tongues but they’re not spiritual.

In the Bible, we know the Corinthians had all the gifts—they spoke in tongues—but Paul said, “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.” It may sound a little radical, and I’m not anti speaking in tongues, but you can actually speak in tongues and live like the devil, because I’ve seen it. If it’s a genuine gift of tongues, then it should bring the fruit of the Spirit. You cannot have the fruit of the Spirit and live a sinful life. The fruit of the Spirit is self-control, love, those fruits that are being like Christ. Gifts are no indication of spirituality; fruit is indication of spirituality, the evidence of the Spirit in our lives.

Just basically, I said more than I should have or needed to, he’s not saying we speak in tongues to pray in the Spirit, nor is he saying we pray loud, emotional prayers. Some people think for God to hear you, you must raise your voice, “God!” Like God has to turn up His hearing aide to hear us. God’s not deaf. Even if you don’t have words, God can hear your heart and your thoughts.

Thirdly, it’s not long prayers. Jesus said, “…for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” That has nothing to do with praying in the Spirit. What is it then? Simply stated, praying in the Spirit, praying with the Spirit, means praying as the Spirit guides, directs, and leads your prayer. I would say He creates the prayer in your heart, He directs the prayer in your heart and from your lips, and He inspires and empowers your praying. If you are filled with the Holy Spirit and you are filled with the Word of God, the natural result is going to be prayer that is in the Spirit. It’s prayer that is in the power of the Spirit, it’s directed by the Spirit, it’s led by the Spirit, so you’re not going to be praying out of the will of God or for things that are unbiblical or selfish.

Write down Romans 8:26-27 where Paul says, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” That’s a great reference to praying in the Spirit, the Spirit groaning within us. He knows what we’re praying, and He leads us. He’s the One groaning for glory in the heart of the believer. When you pray, invite the Holy Spirit to empower, to energize, to lead and guide your prayer.

John Bunyan, again to quote him, said, “In prayer it is better to have heart without words, than words without heart.” I love that. There’s nothing wrong with reading a prayer, either, but you have to have your heart engaged. It doesn’t do any good to have your mouth moving if your heart’s not engaged. We need to be thinking about what we pray. That’s why Jesus said, “…enter into thy closet, and…pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” You can’t pray if you are living in a sinful way that’s grieving or quenching the Holy Spirit; it’s prayer by the Spirit, through the Son, and to the Father. It doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the Holy Spirit directly; it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the Son of God directly, call out to Jesus; it doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the Father directly, but that’s the way we come to God the Father, through the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let me give you the fourth, if you’re taking notes, that is in our text, persistent prayer. If I’m going to be victorious in my battle with the enemy, I must pray persistently. Notice the phrase in verse 18, “…watching thereunto with all perseverance.” The word “watching” is fascinating. It literally means to keep awake. Literally, sometimes when you pray, have you noticed you fall asleep? I remember getting down by the bed, kneeling on the floor, and started to pray late at night. I just got a few words out and I’m off, I’m gone. I wake up about an hour later with a big red dot on my forehead spacing out like, “Oh, sorry, Jesus. I’ll talk to You tomorrow morning,” and just jumped right into bed. That’s literally falling asleep, but this actually means to stay awake and be sober-minded when you pray, “…watching thereunto,” looking around being prayerful about all that needs to be prayed about.

Perseverance means that you endure or endurance—you don’t give up; it’s always too soon to quit. Many times we start praying and then we stop. We’re praying for an unsaved family member or friend and instead of getting softer and coming to the Lord, we’ve been praying for years, they just seem to be getting harder and farther away. Don’t give up. You never know when you could see an answer to your prayers. Sometimes the Lord says, “Wait,” when we pray. That’s a delayed answer. Sometimes God says, “No,” that’s a “No” answer. Sometimes people say, “I prayed. God didn’t answer.” Yes, He did. He said, “No.” That’s an answer.

Sometimes God says, “I’ve got something better,” that’s the good kind. “Lord, I’m praying for this, but You know better than I do, what I need.” That’s why Paul, in 2 Corinthians 12, when praying for the thorn in his flesh and asked three times for God to take it away and God said, “No,” three times. He said, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” When Paul heard that he said, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me…for when I am weak, then am I strong.” Instead of taking away Paul’s thorn, God gave him grace that was sufficient to bear the problem, and he relied upon that grace and experienced the all-sufficient grace of God. How marvelous that is, “…watching thereunto,” or staying awake and being persevering in our prayers.

Satan wants you to give up and quit. How many times have we heard the story about people who prayed for an unsaved family member and maybe ten years turns into twenty years, and twenty years turns into thirty of forty and then finally, at the right time, they come to Christ. Don’t stop praying. Don’t get discouraged, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Again, remember the parable of the unjust judge in Luke 18 when he says, “…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; 2 Saying, There was in a city a judge,” and a poor woman went to him wanting to be avenged of her adversary (I’m paraphrasing the whole thing, by the way) and he said, “No, I don’t want to bother with you. Please leave me alone.” She kept pestering him and pestering him and pestering him, “Avenge me of mine adversary.” Finally, he said, “Look, this woman is driving me crazy, so I’m going to give her what she’s requested.” Jesus said, “Hear what the unjust judge saith.” Now, God is not an unjust Judge that you have to bug to get Him to do what you want, pester Him until He says, “Okay, okay, okay, I’ll give you the new car.” As a matter of fact, you want to be careful. If God is saying, “No,” be thankful, back off, and let God’s will be done because you don’t want to press it too hard. The children of Israel prayed for meat. God sent them meat, but sent leanness to their souls. Sometimes God will let us have what we’re asking for, and we realize it wasn’t our best or good for us and we have to come back to Him, broken, and say, “Lord, forgive me and have Your way in my life.”

Jesus says, “Hear what the unjust judge saith.” This is what’s called a parable in contrast. God is in contrast to the unjust judge. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” Yes, He will. God will answer prayer readily and speedily, if we persist and continue to pray.

Write down Matthew 7:7, that famous statement where Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you,” so you have ask, you have seek, and you have knock. All of them in the Greek are in the present imperative, which means they are commands. We are commanded to do that—ask, seek, knock—and they’re in the present tense, so it’s keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. Don’t stop. They kind of escalate in degree of intensity. First, you’re asking, then you’re seeking, then you’re knocking and the door will be opened; so don’t be weary in well doing. Keep praying. God answers prayer.

Here’s the fifth, if you’re taking notes. Lastly, if we’re going to be victorious in battle and we’re going to pray and get victory over the enemy, we need to pray intercessory prayer. Notice verse 18. “…and supplication for all saints.” I wish it would say “some” saints because there are sometimes that, “I don’t want to pray for him, Lord, he bugs me.” “I don’t want to pray for her, she gets under my skin.” All saints? All saints. By the way, that “saints” is a reference to Christians, not people who glow in the dark or have a halo. We’re supposed to, the Bible actually commands us, and it’s in the present tense, to constantly be praying for all God’s people, praying for one another. How important that really is! We pray for others who are in need of prayer facing the battle. We have brothers and sisters in Christ we need to pray for. You can get connected in the church, you can get connected with prayer list, you can write down and pray for people.

I was talking to my sister, this past week my wife and I gave her a phone call. You know, just a couple of weeks ago she lost her daughter, Megan, in an automobile accident. She was killed at 35-years-old. She’s still struggling but said that she feels the prayers from Revival Christian Fellowship as I told her that we are praying for her, and I appreciate all the cards that Kristy and I have received in letting me know that you’re praying for my younger sister during this time. Many of you have been there and know what she’s going through, and you’re praying for her. She said it’s sustaining and helping her. We pray for one another in the Lord.

I want you to take a peek at verses 19-20. Paul give us specifically who we should pray for as well, not only all the saints but notice, “And for me.” Paul was an apostle, but he was not above saying, “I need prayer.” He recognized the importance of praying for spiritual leaders, and he says, “…that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” I’m going to go back over this, verses 19-20, next Wednesday night, but Paul, the great apostle, actually realized his need for the prayers of God’s people. What a blessed thing it is when God’s people pray for their leaders, and they lift them up daily.

How thankful I am for a congregation that prays for me, prays for the other pastors. I get cards and letters and e-mails and texts all the time. People tell me often, “Pastor John, we’re praying for you,” and I appreciate that. I believe that’s what sustains, helps, strengthens, and enables me to do what God has called me to do; and to realize that you are sharing in the ministry—that we’ll share equally in the spoils and the blessings of the benefits of this ministry. God has marvelously, wonderfully opened up more radio stations across the United States for Revival radio. Many of them we don’t even pay to be on, but the others were sponsored by our fellowship. When you pray, when you give, when we join together, God’s Word is going out all across the United States and other parts of the world as well. I don’t hesitate to let you know that I need prayer every day. All the pastors here at Revival need prayer every day, so I thank you for your prayers.

Notice Paul says, “…that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,” that’s a great prayer that you can use to pray for me and the pastors here at Revival anytime. Isn’t it interesting, he wants boldness to preach the gospel, “For which I am an ambassador in bonds,” Paul’s writing these words from prison in Rome. Technically he was under house arrest, but he was in chains awaiting trial and wanted more boldness to do what got him in prison in the first place. He wasn’t backing down. He wanted boldness to preach the gospel.

Remember in Exodus 17 when Amalek was fighting with Israel and Moses was up on the mountain praying for Joshua and the men of Israel as they were warring against Amalek. The story is that when Moses’ arms began to drop down, Amalek prevailed against Israel; and when his arms were up, that Israel prevailed against Amalek. When his arms began to get weary and tired and began to fall down, his brother Aaron and Hur actually came and held up his arms. As they held up his arms, he was sustained and praying for the people of Israel and they prevailed against Amalek. What a picture that is of praying for our spiritual leaders—holding up their arms and seeing the church prevail and moving forward. It’s a beautiful picture there when Paul says at the end of this section of the armor of God, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds.”

It may take eternity and going to Heaven before we discover and realize how powerful and effective our prayers have been. I think when we get to Heaven, in the front row there’s going to be a lot of prayer warriors that nobody saw in the pulpit, nobody read their books, but they spent hours on their knees praying for those who are doing the work of the ministry and praying for souls. God answered their prayers and they have crowns that will be glorious in Heaven, the fruit of the Spirit in their lives—not wood, hay, stubble, but gold, silver, precious stones, tried by the fire—and hearing the Master say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” Amen?

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About Pastor John Miller

Pastor John Miller is the Senior Pastor of Revival Christian Fellowship in Menifee, California. He began his pastoral ministry in 1973 by leading a Bible study of six people. God eventually grew that study into Calvary Chapel of San Bernardino, and after pastoring there for 39 years, Pastor John became the Senior Pastor of Revival in June of 2012. Learn more about Pastor John

Sermon Summary

Pastor John Miller continues our study in the book of Ephesians with a message through Ephesians 6:18-20 titled, “Victory Through Prayer.”

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Pastor John Miller

May 11, 2022