You, Me and We Is Not Enough

We all need supernatural strength!

“When Amalek attacked Israel, Moses went to the mountaintop to pray, while Joshua used the sword down in the valley (Ex. 17:8–16). It took both to defeat Amalek—Moses’ intercession on the mountain, and Joshua’s use of the sword in the valley. Prayer is the power for victory, but not just any kind of prayer. Paul tells how to pray if we would defeat Satan.” (Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Eph 6:18). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.)

Paul paints victorious spiritual leadership in just three short verses (Ephesians 6:18-20) with no less than seven standards of prayer and one revolutionary word picture for the winning perspective.

1. Pray in the Spirit (v.18)

Prayer is the energy that enables the Christian soldier to wear the armor and wield the sword. We cannot fight the battle in our own power, no matter how strong or talented we may think we are.  The Holy Spirit (parakaletos – “Helper at your side”) is your winning edge.  We are foolish when we think that “you, we or me” is enough.  Pray in the Spirit!

2. Pray…on all occasions (v.18) – “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17)

We should pray “on all occasions.”

3. Pray…all kinds prayers and requests (v.18)

There are various kinds of prayers – plea, supplication, intercession, thanksgiving, praise, etc.

In this text, “prayers and requests”are both words that can be translated as prayer.  The distinction here draws attention to both the various types (prayers) of prayer in various locations (requests – can carry a connotation of location).

The believer who prays only to ask for things is missing out on blessings that come with intercessions and giving of thanks. In fact, thanksgiving is a great prayer weapon for defeating Satan. “Praise changes things” as much as “prayer changes things.”

Intercession for others can bring victory to our own lives. “And the Lord turned the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friends” (Job 42:10).

4. Pray…alert (v.18)

God expects us to use our God-given senses, led by the Spirit, so that we detect Satan when he is beginning to work.

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Eph 6:18). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

5. Pray (with) perseverance (v.18)

Perseverance in prayer does not mean we are trying to twist God’s arm, but rather that we are deeply concerned and burdened and cannot rest until we get God’s answer. As Robert Law puts it, “Prayer is not getting man’s will done in heaven; it is getting God’s will done on earth” (Tests of Life, [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1968])

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Eph 6:18). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

6. Pray for all the saints (v.18)

The Lord’s Prayer begins with “Our Father”—not “My Father.”

If Paul needed the prayers of the saints, how much more do you and I need them!

Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Eph 6:18). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

7. Pray for courageous boldness (v.19)

Paul did not ask them to pray for his freedom, comfort or safety, but for him to speak boldly and courageously the gospel.

The paradox of the “ambassador in chains.” (v.20)

Strangely, most English translations persist on translating the Greek word halysei as a plural (chains) when it is actually a singular, “chain.”  The importance of this clarity is vital to understanding the text.  Paul is not constrained from effectiveness but rather powerfully tethered with the Lord.  He is an “ambassador (representative) in chain.”

Are you tethered to the Lord?  Are you tethered by the Spirit?  To be so is a strong chain.

So, what’s the status of your chain with the Lord?  Strong, firm and tight?


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