Standing Firm – A Study of the Armor of God Living a Praying Life
Today we finish the Standing Firm series, with Paul reminding us of the great gift of prayer, without which we can NOT stand firm in our fight.
BIG IDEA (for the entire series): Standing firm in our faith demands suiting up in the strength of our God.
BIG IDEA: Standing firm demands living a Scripture-saturated life.
BIG IDEA: Only the Gospel Secures our Standing in the Spiritual Fight.
BIG IDEA: Faith in Jesus protects us when the fight is most fierce.
BIG IDEA: Christ has saved us, so nothing can stand against us.
BIG IDEA: The Holy Spirit has given us the Bible to beat back our enemy.
Each day we are involved in a spiritual war whether we realize it or not, and in order to stand firm in our faith, we must suit up in God’s spiritual armor.
- Belt of Truth
- Breastplate of righteousness
- Shoes of the gospel of peace
- Shield of faith
- Helmet of salvation
- Sword of the Spirit
- God has given us the gift of prayer to help us suit up in His armor.
However, we are prone to ignore this gift of prayer
- We are caught up in a battle that we cannot win on our own, and we are commanded to call out to God in prayer.
- Prayerlessness is one of the most common forms of pride in the Christian life.
- The real reason that we don’t pray is our pride—that we don’t need God.
- We ALL need an increase in prayer in our lives.
- Why should we want to pray?
BIG IDEA: It positions us to stand firm in God’s power
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness. And having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
A Gracious Greeting
But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord will make all things known to you. Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace to the brethren and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
At this point, Paul is all done with the armor metaphor
- Prayer is not part of the armor.
- The armor that we are called to take up is God’s armor.
- Paul concludes with and gives a disproportionate amount of emphasis to prayer.
- We cannot use the armor that God gives us except in communion and fellowship with God, and this happens through prayer.
- Prayer is foundational for the deployment of all other weapons.
How to Live A Praying Life:
1) Pray ALL Kinds of Prayer
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
Supplication is to plead or beg for a need to be met
- Prayer is more than simply asking God for what we need.
- We are prone to directly go to God with our to-do list.
- We are like toddlers who simply communicate one need after another.
- God wants more than a steady stream of petitions from His people.
We are to Pray for all kinds of prayer:
We need to pray prayers of petition because we are dependent on Him, but prayer should be much more than that. How do we keep from just going to God with our to-do lists?
Use the ACTS format:
- A: adoration- Praising God for who He is
- C: confession- Honestly laying our sin at God’s feet
- T: Thanksgiving– Thanking God for what He has done and what He is doing and what He will do
- S: supplication- Asking God for all that we need
Prayer positions us to stand firm in God’s power
2) Pray on ALL Occasions
Always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy.
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
Pray without ceasing.
We are called to pray in all circumstances:
- There is never a bad time to pray.
- There is also no bad place to pray.
- He is never inattentive to our prayers.
- We tend to live in this delusion that we are in control and “I got this”, and we need to recognize that God is in control and we are dependent on Him.
- We tend to pray when life spins out of control, but we should also pray when we are happy and angry and at peace and sad and in turmoil.
Pray all occasions
- There is no wrong time, place, or circumstance.
Pray at all times in the Spirit.
Our prayers are to be in the Spirit, meaning to be in His will.
Our prayers are to be inspired, guided, and made effective in the Spirit.
Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
Isn’t that amazing, that the Spirit prays for us and He always prays perfectly in God’s will?
- And His prayers are always answered “Yes”!
3) Pray With ALL Perseverance
To that end keep alert with all perseverance.
We have a responsibility—we have to remain alert to the attack. We are on alert and paying attention through prayer.
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.
An alert posture is directly proportionate to our prayer lives:
- This battle is real and Satan is real, and until we believe that, we will not feel compelled to remain alert through prayer.
- When prayer wanes, you become vulnerable.
- Prayer positions us to stand firm in God’s power.
4) Pray For All Christians, Especially Preachers
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. And for me, that utterance may be given to me that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel. For which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Pray that our preachers will have 3 things:
- a) Faithful words may be given to them.
- b) Clear words when they speak to boldly proclaim the gospel.
- c) Bold words when they speak to boldly proclaim the gospel.
God calls us not to timidity, but to preach boldly.
Prayer positions us to stand firm in God’s power.
But that you also may know my affairs and how I am doing Tychicus a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, will make all things known to you. Whom I have sent to you for this very purpose, that you may know our affairs, and that he may comfort your hearts. Peace to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.
Paul may have been sending Tychicus to inform them how he is doing so that they would know how to pray for him.
Paul prays that they would have 3 things:
- a) A peace that only comes from being reconciled with God
- b) Love with faith, the necessary result of being reconciled with God
- c) Grace by which all that Paul proclaims and has called us too may be accomplished
I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. You have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them, liars. And you have persevered and had patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.
Paul closes with the most important thing, and how sad it is in Revelation when we read that they lost the most important thing.
With all that we do, we cannot miss the most important thing, and that is our love for Jesus.
Do you love Him, because He loves you and gave everything for your salvation?
If we live Praying lives, we will stand firm in God’s power and by God’s grace, we will love Jesus more and more.
This concludes the Standing Firm Bible Study.
I hope this has challenged you and brought forth conviction and made you aware of the areas in your life that may need to be addressed.
Like I said my toes were stepped on repeatedly but it was a life-changing Series for me and brought me closer to my never-ending everlasting love of my Heavenly Father!
My sincere desire is that it has been the same for you?