TEXT: Ephesians 6:18-20
18 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: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 290 messages in this series.
This is message #291 titled, How to Win at Spiritual Warfare Through Prayer, Part 15.
Today, we are going to continue looking at how we should employ private prayer in spiritual warfare. Our great example in private prayer is Jesus Christ Himself who often “went up into a mountain apart to pray” or “rose up a great while before day, departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” He even commanded us to pray more often in our closets rather than in public to guard against carrying out this duty for the praise or applause of others.
Tim Keller said, “The infallible test of spiritual integrity is your private prayer life. Many people will pray when they are required by cultural or social circumstances. However, those with a genuinely lived relationship with God as Father will inwardly want to pray and therefore will pray even though nothing on the outside is pressing them to do so. They pursue it even during times of spiritual dryness, when there is no social or experiential payoff.” We saw a great example of this in the life of David. Many of his prayers, as recorded in the Psalms, were written while he was alone and in distressing circumstances.
Jesus’ admonishment that we ought to enter into our closets or some other private chamber in order to pray is still a good practice today. However, some have pointed out that, for many, the point of Jesus’ command — to be alone with God — may be a hard reality to bring about in their actual place of residence — even if they are the only person living there. When the first disciples received this command, they didn’t have televisions, radios, landlines, smartphones, tablets, iPods, or computers. You probably have all of these things — and multiple versions of these things — in your house. You probably have one or more in each room, not counting the phone that seems to be glued to your hand at all times. If your private office is your “prayer closet,” you are not really fulfilling the command to private prayer if you have one eye on your Facebook feed.
In the first century, the place of activity was outside the home, while the home was the place of calm. Today, the home is just as busy, if not busier, than the outdoors. That is why some have suggested finding your “prayer closet” among nature. Leave your phone and your iPod behind and go for a fifteen- to thirty-minute prayer walk in the park or around your block. Jordan Monson said Jesus’ command to private prayer is “prayer without distraction. The message is the same, but the means have reversed. One of the best ways to close the door in the 21st century is to open the door and leave your home to go on a prayer walk. This is the opposite of shutting yourself in a room, but it accomplishes the same purpose in our era.” Not only must you often shut the physical door to bar personal interaction, but you must also shut the digital door to bar mental distraction when you pray.
If you don’t spend time in private prayer, you won’t have the power to be victorious in spiritual warfare.
Joseph Hart wrote:
Prayer is appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give:
Long as they live should Christians pray;
They learn to pray when first they live.
’Tis prayer that supports the soul that’s weak;
Though thought be broken and language lame,
Pray, if thou can or cannot speak;
But pray with faith in Jesus’ name.
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Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.