Ephesians 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,
Worthy News recently covered a story about the impact of prayer in the lives of the everyday American. As I read through the poll, I was shocked at how little Americans pray. In these days, prayer simply must become an essential in our daily walk. Pondering this, I realized I’ve never done an in-depth series on prayer, its importance, and how to be an effective prayer warrior. This will be the first in a series of devotions discussing this important subject — prayer and intercession.
This verse in Ephesians 6 is part of Paul's most articulate exposition on spiritual warfare, the passage in which he describes the enemies arrayed against us, and the spiritual armor we must wear for the battle. Once our armor is on, prayer takes center stage in his battle strategy. And notice Paul's usage: ALL times, with ALL prayer, with ALL PERSEVERANCE, for ALL saints. Could he have been more urgent or comprehensive in his counsel toward equipping us? Prayer seems to be the single most critical element in spiritual warfare.
Yet it appears that prayer is one of the most neglected disciplines in the body of Messiah. Visit the next prayer meeting at your congregation, if there is one, and calculate the percentage of those present. We don't have the time...or, we don't make the time...or the meeting is at the wrong time...or, it's actually kind of boring ... What's really going on here?
To begin with, we're not aware, we're not watching. Often in scripture, prayer is immediately connected to watchfulness; [Mat. 26:41; Mar. 13:33; Mar. 14:38; Luk. 21:36]. Paul also stressed this. "Keep alert", he says. If prayer is neglected, one primary cause is our failure to WATCH, to be alert. We are numb, preoccupied, lazy, overwhelmed, distracted, or drunk on whatever; anything but watchful like Gideon's 300 men. But prayer is a natural sequel to watchfulness. When we're aware of what's really happening, we almost naturally feel the urgency to respond to it.
But, if we are going to get serious about prayer, it will be because we are mobilized to watch, and by watching, to care, and by caring to respond. Prayer is motivated by deep concern. Check this in your own life. When were your prayers most fervent and persevering? What were you so deeply concerned about? Prayer is really about love, isn't it. Pray because you watch; watch because you care; prayer is an act of love.