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Friday, May 25, 2007

Prayer As Warfare

You will have heard many sermons on the armour of God based in Eph 6. It is one of the more familiar passages of Scripture to most Christians. The emphasis is usually on the defensive aspects of the armour of God but I want to focus today on offense.

Sword of the Spirit
Paul says in v17 that the sword of the Spirit is the word of God and it is certainly true that when we find ourselves under spiritual attack we need to wield Scripture at the enemy. Favourite passages of mine when faced with temptation are:

"The Lion of the tribe of Judah ... has triumphed." (Rev 5:5)

combined with,

"He is my defence, I shall not be moved." (Ps 62:6)

But scripture can also be used offensively, particularly in declaring the word over people and reclaiming ground. For example, depriving God's people of sleep is one of the enemy's most basic tactics. But Prov 3:24 promises,"You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly."

I'm not suggesting you go hunting wildly for verses to rip out of context in the hope that they will have some kind of supernatural effect on a situation. The Bible is not a book of spells. But it is living and active (Heb 4:12) and extremely powerful when applied correctly.

Pray in the Spirit
The key is to learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He applies the word to our lives. Paul follows up his instruction to take up the sword of the Spirit, the word of God, with one to pray in the Spirit on all occasions (Eph 6:18). There are a number of different interpretations of what it means to "pray in the Spirit" but the underlying principle is the same - pray in line with what the Spirit wants you to pray. In other words, seek God's heart about how and what to pray before you begin.

In Rom 8:26-27 we see the ministry of the Holy Spirit in prayer:

He helps us in our weakness;
He intercedes for us;
He knows God's will.

It would be foolhardy not to avail ourselves of our most powerful resource in prayer.

Prayer College Assignment
Seek the Lord for a Scripture that will speak directly into a situation about which you are praying. Then use that scripture in your prayers.

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