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.
‘Therefore put on the full armour of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled round your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.’ (Ephesians 6:13-17)
Summary: If we are to pray together, we must put on the full armour of God.
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Yesterday, we looked at the need to take seriously our spiritual war and enemy so that we will take praying together seriously. Today, we continue in Ephesians 6, as we consider the need to be prepared by putting the full armour of God.
‘Therefore put on the full armour…’
The word therefore is about our response. How will we respond to the ideas of a spiritual war and a scheming enemy that we looked at in verses 10-12 of Ephesians 6? Our response should be to get prepared by putting on God’s armour. None of us would fail to get dressed in the morning and go about our day naked! However, do I fail to put on this armour of God and so go into the spiritual battle naked of God’s protection and weaponry? David Watson wrote of the need of preparation:
‘In war, the most important time is preparation time. For all of us the most important time is now. When the time of real trial arrives, preparation is over: you are either ready or unprepared. If you are not prepared, you will suffer the consequences.’ (Watson, Discipleship, Loc. 687 - the suffering of the church in Nicaragua- a church leader wrote)
What is the armour of God?
In summary, we could say that the armour is faith in who God is and what He has done for us.
In the morning, when we spend time in worship, prayer and God’s word, we are putting on the armour whether we call it that or not. When we meet together with the church this is also a very important time to put on this armour together as we worship and hear God’s word taught.
In learning from God’s word and worshipping and praying in response, we are ‘putting on’ who God is and what He’s done for us, which, as I’ve said, is a summary of the armour.
The armour prepares us for prayer
Putting on God’s armour leads to prayer. At the end of this list Paul adds: ‘And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests…’ (Ephesians 6:18). We put on the not so we can look good or feel good about ourselves; we put on the armour so that we can pray personally and together with the church.
The devil loves to rob us of confidence in God; he undermines our trust in God’s love and that He hears us… as he send his ‘flaming arrows’ of lies and accusation. He also loves to divide the church community in any way that he can so that we fail to pray together.
Michael Reeves writes of this:
The accuser loves to have people doubt this. He loves to whisper: “God is punishing you. That’s why things are hard. He doesn’t love you anymore.” And we must shout back, “Satan, what sort of Christ do you think I have? A faithless Christ? One who makes all depend on me? No, I have one who says ‘no one will snatch them out of my hand’” (see John 10:28). (Reeves, Michael. Authentic Ministry)
We defend ourselves by putting on God’s armour as we choose to believe who God is and what He’s done for us. As the devil tells us lies, we choose to put on the ‘Belt of truth’ and to raise the ’shield of faith’. We attack demonic powers with ‘The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ as we choose to believe and pray what the Bible teaches about God and what He’s done for us.
RESPONSE - GET PREPARED BY PUTTING ON THE ARMOUR OF GOD
There could be many reasons why we may not be as devoted to praying together as we should, but discouragement is a massive one. The enemy quietly accuses God and ourselves, and if we fail to be alert, we can imbibe his poison, leading to prayerlessness. Let's put on the full armour of God and choose to give our minds and hearts to imbibing who God is and what He's done for us. By ensuring that we are prepared with the full armour of God, we can resist the enemy's attacks and remain devoted to praying 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: