How to Use Prayer as a Weapon?
Topic: Prayer Scripture: Matthew 6:5– :15
How to use prayer as a weapon?
14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. 16 In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;17 and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, 18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.
We are to pray at all times, In the spirit, with all types of prayer.
Paul does not mean that prayer is the only thing that you should do all day. We all have daily responsibilities. So, to pray at all times is to pray when given the occasion to do so. When you think to pray about a certain issue, make it a priority to do so as soon as possible. Be constant in prayer. Make praying a part of your daily routine but let the prayer be far from routine.
Next, we are told to pray in the Spirit. That is to be led by the Spirit when you pray.
26 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.
We do not always know what to pray, that is why we should be led by the Holy Spirit. If we ask Him, He will give us the words to say. When praying for others we should listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He will often lead you to pray something or in such a way that you would not normally pray.
When we yield ourselves to the Holy Spirit while we are praying, what is really happening is that the God in you is crying out to the God who made the heavens and the earth. Meaning it is a prayer that is coming from God, to God. It is a sure way to know whether you are praying according to his will. It is also a sure way to know your prayer is heard.
The last instructions Paul gives in regarding prayer in this passage, is to pray with all prayer and supplication.
We should pray for others, we should pray for ourselves, we should pray for wisdom, healing, for peace, to make war against our spiritual enemy, we should pray for our physical enemies, we should pray to deepen our relationship with God, we should pray for our relationships with people, we should pray for the salvation of others. We should pray in all circumstances with many different types of prayer.
As often as we have an occasion to do so, we should pray.
- But what exactly is prayer?What should I pray if I do not know how to pray?
Prayer- Speaking your words or thoughts to God.
We are to pray with confidence that God can handle it.
God can handle your thoughts, your frustrations, your concerns, your anger, disappointments, anxieties… He can handle them all.
David found himself in distress as he claims his enemies were more numerous than the hairs of his head. Listen to what he prays.
Psalms 69:16-17, 22-24
16 Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good;
according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
17 Hide not your face from your servant,
for I am in distress; make haste to answer me
Have you been there?
Have you ever felt as though the Lord was distant from you, yet you were in desperate situation and you needed God to turn to you and hear your prayer?
Perhaps in that moment you knew there was no other answer that would be sufficient than His.
David understood this. However, he begins to ask that God would take vengeance on his enemies.
22 Let their own table before them become a snare;
and when they are at peace, let it become a trap.
23 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they cannot see,
and make their loins tremble continually.
24 Pour out your indignation upon them,
and let your burning anger overtake them
David was so distressed that he prays for the wrath of God to consume his enemies.
While this type of prayer was not the intent when Jesus said that we should pray for our enemies, it does show the humanness of David and that he dealt with some very real pain in his life. But this also shows, he knew that God can handle it. There may be times when you feel the same way.
He was not afraid to pour out his heart to the Lord, knowing that He is a good Father who delights in the prayers of his children. (Proverbs 15:8)
It is better for you, to get alone with God and give Him all your frustrations than to take it out on someone you love. They cannot handle it, but God can.
1 Peter 5:7 (ESV) 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.
One way we pray is to speak our thoughts, even our frustrations to God.
We are to include Praise and Thanksgiving in our prayer
In that same passage just a few verses down, David continues his prayer to God
29 But I am afflicted and in pain;let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
30 I will praise the name of God with a song;I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Even in the midst of everything that is going on around him, David made sure to give God praise and thanks in his prayer. In fact, this is the same way Jesus taught his disciples to pray.
His opening line was “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name”
Hallowed- to render or acknowledge to be revered or esteemed.
It is highly suggested to start off a prayer esteeming God or magnifying His name. It is also worth mentioning that God Our Father is in heaven. So the prayer essentially is a plea to the God of heaven that He will come and touch a situation here on earth. Another important thing to mention about this opening line, is that we are to address Him as Father. If we are children of God, then that means that He is our father. He is a good father unlike our earthly father who may have failed us. His love never fails. There is no flaw in His character. He is a good Father.
When you begin a prayer like this, then you are in line to pray according to the will of God.
5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrasesas the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:
We are to pray with sincerity
In this scripture, we are given things to stay away from and things to include when we pray.
What do we need to avoid when praying?
- Avoid Hypocrisy- when you pray let your motives be pure and not to be seen by man.
- Avoid empty phrases- In the KJV the word vain repetition is used.Meaning a prayer that repeats the same thing over and over and over again.
Some religions repeat the Lord’s prayer over and over again, which makes even the greatest prayer of all time a vain repetition. It is vain if it is rehearsed, unfelt, or if it is not from the heart only from the head. It is vain if it is only words and not conviction.
Jesus was not just wanting us to repeat this prayer over and over, rather in giving us “The Lord’s Prayer” he gave us a template on how to pray. Not the exact wording.
We should pray with Sincerity
What should we include in our prayer?
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. 10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
We are to pray according to His will
Besides giving God praise and thanksgiving, Jesus instructs His followers to pray that God’s kingdom would come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
His will is being done in heaven. The angels and the host of heaven do as they are instructed by God. For God’s kingdom to come on earth would suggest that His rule be established throughout the earth. This could be a twofold meaning. We know at the end of all time God will burn up this earth with fire and will set up a new heaven and a new earth. His kingdom will be among the very people that He has created. We can pray for that time to come. But while we are on this earth, I take this to mean that man’s will, would conform to the will of God, so that His rule will be upon the hearts of men that are here on earth right now.
To pray according to God’s will, is to pray that man will surrender his will to the will of God.
That even as believers when we pray that our will, would submit to His will. That we will not pray according to our will but His.
11 Give us this day our daily bread,
We are to pray for His provision to meet our daily needs
God is such a good father, that He is concerned with your needs. He sent His Son to die for you and to tell you that you should pray for your “daily bread” or your daily needs.
Because your natural being is necessary to your spiritual well-being in this world. If you do not live physically then you are not able to accomplish that which is spiritual.
In doing so, you show that your life is dependent upon His provision. To pray according to the will of God is to also pray for your daily bread. Notice he uses the word bread, and not steak and lobsters. Meaning He does not promise to make your stay on this earth rich and luxurious but He does promise to meet your needs.
19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. 20 To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.
When our needs are provided for, then He is glorified meaning He looks good. Just as it is with you fathers who work hard so that you’re the needs of your family are met. When your kids have clothes on their back, food on the table and a place to live then that is a reflection of how you provided for your family. So when we realize our dependency upon God to meet our needs, then He to is glorified and it is a reflection of His good provision.
12 and forgiveus our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. 14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, 15 but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
We Should Pray for Forgiveness and deliverance from temptation
We all have sinned at some point in our lives, for most of us sin was a lifestyle. We were all born with a sinful nature which is at constant war against God. Our flesh does not want to do obey God. Therefore, we must dailyput to death those passions of the flesh.
It is interesting that Jesus is teaching his disciplesto pray, and while doing so He tells them to ask for forgiveness for their debts. Because He knows that even after we have decided to follow Christ, there are times when we fall short of the glory of God. Thus the reason he tells us to ask for forgiveness for our debts. We owe because we have sinned, however it is a debt that we cannot pay, but He has paid for our debt in full on the cross. Therefore we should pray for forgiveness and for deliverance from temptation.
But at the end of the prayer He says that if we want forgiveness that we should likewise forgive those who have wronged us. Otherwise if we refuse to forgive those who have wronged us then we cannot be forgiven.
While your praying before the Lord be sure to forgive those who have wronged you and release them from the debt they owe so that the Lord will forgives your sins as well.
- We are to pray at all times, In the spirit, with all types of prayer.
- We are to pray with confidence that God can handle it.
- We are to include Praise and Thanksgiving in our prayer.
- We are to pray with sincerity
- We are to pray according to His will
- We are to pray for His provision to meet our daily needs.
- We should pray for forgiveness and deliverance from temptation.