PRAYING AT ALL TIMES

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:18-24

“Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel.” (Ephesians 6:18,19)

The main weapon in spiritual warfare is prayer. Prayer, along with the other pieces of armor that God has provided, are the spiritual weapons we have — “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds” (II Corinthians 10:4). We put on the armor with prayer. We fight our battles with prayer. We draw God’s strength with prayer.

Notice how Paul uses the word “all” four times in the passage. This helps us understand how we are to pray. First, we are to “pray at all times,” not just in the big moments. We are to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). This suggests a mental attitude of prayerfulness in which we are in continual fellowship with God. It means we are conscious of being in His presence all day long. Paul adds the words — “in the Spirit.” This means with the help of the Spirit (Romans 8:26,27) and in harmony with the will of the Spirit.

Second, we are to pray with “all prayer and supplication.” We are to pray specific prayers and we are to pray with various kinds of prayer, such as, adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and supplication. Our prayers are not to be rote and ritualistic. They are to be from the heart.

Third, we are to pray with “all perseverance.” Prayer takes work and we must be diligent in our prayers. We must persevere in prayer — “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened” (Matthew 7:7,8).

Fourth, we are to pray for “all the saints.” Our prayers are to be inclusive. We are to pray for all the saints — young and old, those going through sorrow and those who are rejoicing. We are to pray for all the saints in our churches and around the world.

Robert Murray McCheyne wrote these words about prayer — “If the veil of the world’s machinery were lifted off, how much we would find is done in answer to the prayers of God’s children.”

“The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working” (James 5:16b).

Lord God, thank You for the great privilege of prayer. Thank You for listening to my prayers. I know You hear them and You will answer them according to Your will. Teach me how to pray without ceasing. Enable me to persevere in my prayers. Forgive me for failing to pray as I should.

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