#769. TAKE YOUR STAND TOGETHER(13/3/23)
This week we continue in our 9-week series entitled ’Praying Together’; this series is loosely based upon the book and course, ‘The Prayers of many’ by Mike Betts. During this series, we want to learn about the importance of corporate prayer.
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.’ (Ephesians 6:10-12)
Summary: Take seriously our spiritual battle and enemy so as to take praying together seriously.
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I wonder how aware we are of the spiritual battle that we are in? Our devotion to praying together will be greatly affected by how convinced we are of the reality of our unseen spiritual enemies.
Over the next three days, we will look briefly at spiritual warfare from Ephesians 6:10-20. Our reading today on verses 10-12 is teaching us about the reality of the devil and the powers of darkness. We can be unaware of the very real danger of the devil and demonic powers. We can become passive or misunderstand what’s happening to us.
We are encouraged: ‘Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.’ God wants us as individuals and as a church to understand that we need God’s strength and ‘His mighty power.’ As we pray together for God’s power and strength, we are promised: ‘So that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes’. Without God’s strength we cannot stand, we will be knocked over! We are told that the devil has ‘schemes’ - Plans for evil in the church and the world. The devil would love us to remain ignorant of God’s power and of his evil schemes. Jon Bloom wrote:
‘It’s important that we query our responses [to the devil and demons] and not accept them too easily. They might expose an unbiblical imbalance or blind spot. Every era has its spiritual blind spots, and demonic forces will, by all means, capitalise on them. The first century had its blind spots, and we have ours. We are naïve to think they don’t significantly affect us. That’s why the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers to instruct Christians of all eras to be sober-minded and watchful, and not be ignorant of satanic schemes.’ (Jon Bloom. We Dare Not Ignore the Devil)
Jesus commanded His disciples on the night He was betrayed:
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)
Rather than listening to Jesus, they fell asleep, fell into fear and all deserted Jesus. Likewise, it’s of vital importance that we understand the nature of our enemy and so watch and pray together.
RESPONSE - TAKE OUR SPIRITUAL ENEMY AND GODS RESOURCES SERIOUSLY.
We are warned in today’s reading from Ephesians that the devil has schemes against us. God wants us to be aware and so draw on His strength and mighty power as we pray together.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
During this series, we will be using the 'Prayers of Many' course by Mike Betts.
I encourage you to buy a copy of the book from: https://prayersofmany.org/book#buybook
If you need assistance in buying a book please send an email to the church office and we will happily purchase you a copy.
Please download the course handbook from: