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 291 messages in this series.
As you know, today is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. It isn’t talked about much, but the Baptist preacher and civil rights leader was a man of prayer and a man who believed in the power of prayer. One author wrote an entire book on Dr. King’s prayer life. In light of the commemorations going on today, allow me to begin with this quote from one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermons titled “The Misuse of Prayer,” which comes down to us in the form of a handwritten sermon outline. He wrote: “There can be no gainsayng of the fact that prayer is as natural to the human organism as the rising of the sun is to the cosmic order. Samuel Johnson was once asked what the strongest argument for prayer was, and he replied, ‘Sir, there is no argument for prayer.’ Now Johnson did not mean by this that prayer is irrational — far from it. He meant, rather, to stress the fact that prayer is first of all a native tendency. Prayer is indigenous to the human spirit. It represents a throbbing desire of the human heart. As Thomas Carlyle stated in a letter to a friend, ‘Prayer is and remains the native and deepest impulse of the soul of man.’ We often try to call prayer ‘absurd and presumptuous.’ But a yearning so age-long and deep-rooted cannot be slain by a couple of adjectives. Men have often tried to dismiss it by affirming that the pressing rigidity of natural law makes it impossible. But such a declaration is unconvincing, for there is something deep down within us that makes us know that God works in a paradox of unpredictable newness and trustworthy faithfulness. And even the most devout atheist will at times cry out for the God that his theory denies. Men always have prayed and men always will pray.”
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 292 messages in this series.
This is message #293 titled, How to Win at Spiritual Warfare Through Prayer, Part 17.
As we have considered the types of prayer that we should employ in spiritual warfare, we have discussed: the prayer of faith, the prayer of agreement, the prayer of request or supplication, the prayer of intercession, the prayer of thanksgiving, the prayer of worship, and the prayer of consecration, and the private prayer. Today, we are going to continue looking at another type of prayer — silent prayer or contemplative prayer.
Silent prayer is inaudible communication between God and the one praying. Last week, we read about Hannah who, in asking the Lord for a son, “spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard.”
Silent prayer allows us to obey the command to “pray without ceasing” because, as one commentator puts it, silent prayer enables us “to be in a constant state of God-consciousness, where we take every thought captive to Him and bring every situation, plan, fear, or concern before His throne. Unceasing prayer will include prayers that are spoken, whispered, shouted, sung, and silent as we direct our thoughts of praise, petition, supplication, and thanksgiving to God.”
Sometimes, we find that words are difficult to come by when trying to express our deepest feelings toward God. It is at these times that we can come to God in silence trusting that He knows us better than we know ourselves. We can sit in silence, without the distractions of the world, and contemplate God’s presence in our lives and our place in His plan. During times of silent prayer, we are often able to hear God’s “still, small voice.” Mother Teresa said, ‘God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence. We need silence with God to be able to touch souls for God.’
Of course sitting in silent or contemplative prayer requires great mental discipline. Too often when we start off in prayer or meditation, we let our minds wander to the next thing on our to-do list, or a bill that needs to be paid, or a conflict with a co-worker. One way to overcome this is to get into the habit of redirecting all of your thoughts into prayer. Whatever comes to your mind, immediately pray about it. The next thing you need to do? Ask that God would help you get it done quickly and efficiently. Conflict with another person? Ask God to give you wisdom in dealing with the situation. Guilt over a sin you committed? Confess it to God and ask for forgiveness.
Going before God in silence and contemplation is an opportunity to simply rest in His presence, meditate on who He is, and communicate your deepest feelings to Him. “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him,” David wrote. Make use of this type of prayer because it can strengthen and invigorate you for the spiritual battles in life. As Moses told Israel, “The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
Witness Lee wrote:
My soul, be silent, wait upon the Lord!
Learn to deny thy thought and all thy will.
Learn to let God anoint thee with Himself
And thru thy prayer His purposes fulfill.
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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.