The Weapons of our Warfare 2 – Prayer – Session 1 Principles of Prayer
The Weapons of our Warfare
2 Cor. 10:3-4 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but are mighty through God to destroy strongholds.
- The power is not in the weapons, it’s in our God who works through us and the weapons He provides.
- The Father Himself loves you John 16:27
- Boldness and access Eph. 3:12
- John 14:15-16 Another Helper – we need help – for ever! Rom 8
- We don’t have to “take authority”, we already have authority (if fulfilling the conditions, e.g. 7 sons of Sceva)
Principles – Priorities – Practicalities
1. Lessons from the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:5-15)
2. Praying in the Name of Jesus (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24; 1 John 5:14-15; James 4:2b-3)
3. Praying in the Spirit (Eph. 6:18-19; Rom. 8:26-27)
4. Praying with Persistence (Matt. 7:7-11)
1. Lessons from the Lord’s Prayer
Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4 This prayer is a declaration of war on the world, the flesh and the devil (Albert Mohler describes it as The Prayer that turns the world upside down)
Keep it simple
Superbly simple and brief – like many prayers in the Bible – Lord save me! Come Lord Jesus. The longest recorded prayers take just a minute or two to read. Encouraging for those of us who can’t make long prayers!
Keep it real
Prayer is partnership
- Psa. 37:4 delight in the Lord, desires of your heart – His desires!
- The Lord confides in those that fear Him Psa. 25:14; the still small voice – heard when alone with God – Elijah; other examples Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Paul.
Prayer starts with God and His priorities
Father – relationship – Individual relationship – prayer rooted in the glorious reality of our Calvary-purchased relationship with the Father (John 20:17 – My Father and your Father)
The rest of the prayer is an impossibility unless you are a child of God. For example, forgiveness is not a natural human trait
Our Father – corporate/family – clue is in the first word and repeated ‘us’ – togetherness
In heaven – not a geographical statement! Reminder of Who He is, the Great I AM
- Eccl. 5:2; Habakkuk goes further Hab.2:20, but He’s our Father and wants to hear us
Hallowed be Your Name
- God’s Name = His Character (Name unspoken by Jews to this day)
- Hallowed – our conduct – His Name blasphemed because of Israel’s conduct (Rom.2:24; Ezek 36:20,23) Don’t point the finger! 1 Pet. 2:11-12
- Do I honour God with my
- Money (Prov. 3:9-10), time (Eph. 5:15-17), in our thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5 battleground of the mind), words and actions (Eph. 4:29; 5:15-17)
- Does this extend to our Smartphones, Facebook and Instagram accounts?
Praying it and not doing it – at best hypocritical (guilty as charged, M’Lud)
- No virtue signalling
- Jesus’ priorities
Your Kingdom come – tension now but not yet. History is going somewhere. Demonstrating what God’s kingdom is, now. People of the Risen King? People of the Coming King. Urgent! Needed! Not escapism.
- 2 Pet. 3:12 straining towards the ‘coming of the Day of God’.
- 2 Tim. 4:8 we should ‘love His appearing’,
- Titus 2:13 which is our blessed hope and which inspires us to become more like Jesus. Like the Corinthians, Philippians and Hebrews (1 Cor. 1:7;Ph. 3:20;Heb. 9:28)
Your Will be done – not mine! Learning that God doesn’t need my advice or opinion! The key to answered prayer. Yes? No? Not yet? Problem is knowing God’s will in any particular situation – and in advance!
- As in heaven, so on earth – what has already been decided in heaven (loosing/binding Matt. 18:18). God’s ends achieved by God’s means.
- God’s will is in His Word – how well do we know it? Psa. 119:11; Jer. 15:16
- Submissive service – waiting on Psa 123:1-2
- “In the Name of Jesus”? What is His will? NB end of this prayer! 1 Jn. 5:14-15
These are Jesus’ priorities – are they ours?
Then His Provision
Give us this day our necessary bread Daily provision. Dependence. The Hebrew grace expresses partnership with God as we thank Him for “bringing forth bread from the earth” – He makes the wheat grow, but we have to process it. . Deut. 8:18 It is the Lord who gives you power to get wealth.
Forgive us our sins – lead us not into testing, deliver us from [the] evil
Rephrase last line (ESV) “Allow us to be spared from difficult circumstances that would tempt us to sin.” Also constant warnings of wrong paths and the results! Pray to be led in paths of righteousness.
God never tempts anyone to sin – we are drawn by our own desires (James 1:13-14).
Revolving door? “Just sinners saved by grace”, going round the same cycle of sin, confession, repentance, or “More than conquerors through Him that loves us”? (Rom. 8:37)
Keep it real! Meet God half way! Don’t place yourself in situations where you may be tempted in any area of weakness! If alchohol is a big danger for you, don’t frequent pubs. If it’s Porn, get a Porn blocker on your PC or phone. If you are prone to uncontrolled spending, find someone to whom you can be accountable.
Watchman Nee: said
“No matter how many sins I commit, it is always the one sin principle that leads to them. I need forgiveness for my sins, but I need also deliverance from the power of sin…
I appreciate the blessed fact of God’s forgiveness, but I want something more than that: I want deliverance. I need forgiveness for what I have done, but I need also deliverance from what I am.”
And that is gloriously available – in Christ! The Gospel is forgiveness from the penalty due our sins, and eventually from the very presence of sin in the “bye and bye”, but much more than that, it is deliverance from the power of indwelling sin in the “here and now”!
Keep it up! No ending!! (in the Luke version)
No ‘in the Name of Jesus’. As good and Scriptural as the Matthew ending is (See 1 Chron. 29:11), it probably wasn’t in the original prayer (Didache doesn’t include it).
The prayer does not have an ending as it has to be continually worked out in our lives!
That’s why there’s no Amen at the end – the Amen is my life and your life living it out and the Amen of Heaven encouraging you to keep going (Heb.12:1)
2. Praying in the Name of Jesus
Scripture: John 14:13-14, 16:23-27
Over and over again in Scripture we read, “In my name,” “In Jesus’ name,” or “In his name.” The devils were powerless because of his name (Luke 10:17). The demons were cast out in his name (Mark 16:17-18). Healing occurred in his name (Acts 3:6, 3:16, 4:10). Salvation comes in his name (Acts 4:12, Rom. 10:13). We are to baptize in his name (Matt. 28:19). We are justified in his name (1 Cor. 6:11). Everything we do and say is done in his name (Col. 3:17). But, it is praying in Jesus’ name that we want to focus on. Jesus has invited, urged, and commanded us to pray in his name and has promised incredible results.
John 14:13-14 and John 16:23-27 are some of the most powerful verses in all of scripture related to prayer. In fact, when most of us pray we conclude with the phrase, “in Jesus’ name.”
But what does it mean to pray in the name of Jesus? When we pray in Jesus’ name
- As Jesus’ representative
- Like using a Power of attorney or as an Executor of a Will
- Praying for what He wills – focus on Him
- For the Father’s glory (John 14:13)
- Not a “genie in the bottle”
- Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6; Eph.2:18)
- Intimacy with God (Psa. 37:4) – He wants us to know His mind
- Laying hold of God’s promises (calling on the name of the Lord Isa. 64:7)
- Admitting the bankruptcy of our name (Phil 4:19)
· We are admitting the bankruptcy of our own name.
When I pray in Jesus’ name I come boldly before God because of the power of his name Eph. 2:18. It would be like a bride coming from abject poverty to marry a wealthy husband. At that point the woman takes the name of her husband and all that entails. She no longer acts in her name, but in his.
· We identify with the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus has literally given us his name. When I use that name, I am confessing that he is mine and that I am his. It is like going to the bank of heaven, knowing I have nothing deposited. If I go in my name I will get absolutely nothing. But Jesus Christ has unlimited funds in heaven’s bank, and he has granted me the privilege of going to the bank with his name on my cheques. Phil. 4:19
· We pray in his authority.
1 John 5:13-15 We are like the child who picked up a policeman’s hat, wandered out onto a busy intersection and began to direct traffic. The people in the cars followed the child’s direction because they respected his position of authority. To pray in his name is to ask by his authority; and to ask by his authority is to ask in accordance to his will as revealed in his word.
· We submit to his will.
Jesus’ authority rested with his submission to the Father, so our authority rests with our submission to him. To ask in his name is to ask according to his nature, and his nature is one of submission. This, by the way, is why prayers that ask for things contrary to the Word of God will never be answered. John records Jesus’ words regarding His submission to the Father many times in his gospel:
|4:34||My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.|
|5:30||I can do nothing on my own. As I hear I judge and my judgment is just because I seek not my own will but the will of Him who sent me.|
|6:38||For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me.|
|7:16||My teaching is not mine, but His who sent me.|
|8:26||I have much to say about you and much to judge, but He who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him.|
|8:28-29||When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. And He who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.|
|12:49-50||For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has Himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that His commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.|
· We are representing him and his interests here on earth.
It is much the same as the legal arrangement known as the power of attorney. In such matters, one person may represent another in his absence. They act in their behalf. Jesus has given every believer unlimited and general power of attorney in all matters and with the right to use his name in every situation. See above.
· We pray expectantly.
When we pray in Jesus’ name, we may expect the answer in accord with the value of his name. So we can pray with great and excited expectation. Acts 4:23-31
3. Praying in the Spirit
Much more than praying in tongues (although it can include it).
Eph. 6:18 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints”
Jude 20-21 “But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
“It is under the leadership of the Spirit, under His direction and by His empowering”“My House shall be a house of prayer” Lance Lambert p.47
Can be personal, but want to focus on the corporate – when a group of pray-ers come together recognising the sovereignty of God and let Him set the agenda:
- With the Spirit’s help (Rom. 8:26) – inspiration – revelation of God’s will
- The spirit praying on our behalf
- Wordless prayer – groanings
- In a true spirit and without hypocrisy (Matt. 6:5-7)
- In truth
- Using His appointed means – unity, holiness, no unforgiveness (Psa. 15, 24), Humility – on our guard
- Speaking/praying in tongues
- Through a word of knowledge, insight
- With boldness, liberty of utterance
- Clarity of purpose
- Christ as the Head of the Body – you can’t have the Head without the Body – unity, living organism, not on organisational structure
- Praying with purpose – to see the will of God done on the earth
- Discerning the Will of God and then using the keys of the Kingdom to unlock the situation
- Pursue the Anointing – Psa. 133 (Lance’s example from the School of Prayer pp.57-58)
- Look to the Spirit to lead right from the beginning
- Learn when to pray and when to stop praying
- Learn to assess when a topic is settled – they only walked round Jericho once a day and then picked it up the next day
- Not slavishly following a list of things to pray for – know when to move on
- Not governed by sentiment
· What Praying in the Spirit Is Not
We see what praying in the Spirit means by contrasting it with its polar opposite: praying in the flesh. Prayer in the power of the flesh relies upon human ability and effort to carry the prayer forward.
· What Praying in the Spirit Is
Here is the key difference: in the flesh, we are pushing the prayers forward, while in the Spirit, we feel caught up in the way the Spirit carries the prayer forward. Praying in the Spirit is experiencing the Spirit of life bringing prayer to life.
· How to Pray in the Spirit
Praying in the Spirit has three aspects: (1) admitting our inability, (2) enjoying the creation of a living communion with God, and (3) pleading the promises of God with boldness and assurance.
4. Praying with Persistence
Ask, seek, knock (From Strategy 2 The Word of God Session 4)
Matt. 7:7-8 Ask, Seek, Knock. Whole ministries based on misunderstanding these verses! We discovered that they don’t mean that we always get what we want if we pray for it persistently enough! The emphasis is not on receiving, finding, and getting doors opened. What Jesus is saying is that if you want to receive, you must ask; if you want to find, you must seek; if you want the door opened, you must knock; and you may have to keep on doing those things until the answer comes.
We then compare this with other Scriptures on praying – James 4:2b-3; 1 John 5:14-15; John 14:13-14 (N.B. v.15!); Matt.6:10; Matt. 16:19; Mark 11:24; Mark 14:36 and can say that the Scriptures teach that:
- We must ask in accordance with God’s Will, not based on our wishes, hopes, desires
- We need revelation as to what has been willed in Heaven
- We believe that we have received it – not ‘name it and claim it’ but the assurance that, as we have asked according to our Father’s will, the answer already exists in heaven
- We must bring our wills into line with God’s will and that alignment is the means whereby the Will of God is done on Earth
- We ask as if it was Jesus Who was asking (In my Name)
You can watch/listen to the whole discussion here