The Soldier's Prayer — Part 1

Sermon delivered on July 23rd, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:10 -20



After giving us the six pieces of the Christian armour, the Apostle Paul now focuses on prayer. Paul here seeks to communicate to his fellow soldiers of the cross the importance of prayer in the spiritual warfare. Having put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, we must reinforce it with prayer.


God has been gracious to us here at Grace & Truth for allowing us to study and understand more about the Christian armour. But be aware that knowing about all the pieces of the armour does not mean you and I are out of danger. No, temptation is all around, we have an enemy that is very active.  The devil never takes a rest. The moment that you put on the armour of God and you want to do the will of God in your life, he is going to oppose you. The life of a Christian is a life of constant battle. The reality is that the more that you seek to live godly, the greater the hatred of Satan against you. And so this matter of prayer becomes extremely critical.


In this sermon I entitled "The Soldier's Prayer", I want us to consider the following:

               I - The Importance of Prayer

               II - The Quality of Prayer

               III - The Objects of Prayer


I - The Importance of Prayer

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

When you read Ephesians 6 carefully, don't fail to  see the connection between the armour of God to soldier's prayer. Prayer has a very crucial role in the spiritual warfare. Prayer is absolutely critical as we engage in spiritual battle. It is vitally important in order to stand. We must fight our battle on our knees. We cannot fight this battle without prayers.


Two aspects were we need prayer:

1. Appropriation of the Armour

Some commentators see that prayer is part of the armour and that it is the 7th piece of the armour. But I don't see it that way. I agree with another Bible Expositor who said, "Prayer is not the seventh piece of the armour but rather it is a saturation in all the pieces of the armour"  


In other words, prayer is really the means to put on all the other six. You and I can only appropriate the armour of God through prayer. Without prayer we cannot put on and utilize the armour that God provided for us in Jesus Christ. 


Stand up, stand up for Jesus, 

Stand in His strength alone;

The arm of flesh will fail you, 

Ye dare not trust your own.

Put on the Gospel armor

Each piece put on with prayer;

Where duty calls or danger, 

Be never wanting there.


We can study all the pieces of the armour, and know what they are, we can even try to put them on but without prayer they cannot be used effectively. We could have all of these items of protection but if we are not linked up with God in prayer what good would they be.


Again, it is not enough just to know about the armour but we need to know how to strap it on. Prayer is the way to put the armour on. It is the power of God in the believer's life that equips us for spiritual battle.


2. Communication with the Father

In a war it is important for soldiers to stay in touch with the Central Command for support, supply and instructions. Just as it is important for any soldier on the battlefield to communicate and so it is critical for us soldiers of the cross to communicate with the Captain of our salvation. And prayer is the means we communicate during the battle with the Commander-in-Chief, the Lord Jesus Christ.


Without prayers we our cutoff from God and we become susceptible in the warfare. Prayerlessness makes us helpless and defenseless. The believer must keep in constant communication with his Commander in every season of conflict. Only in this way is he enabled to follow the leading of his Captain closely.


Example of our Lord Jesus Christ

We must be constantly in touch with the Father. Our Lord did so. Even though all power and authority is His, even though He has infinite knowledge, He showed us by His perfect life that communion with His Father was ever important. 


Our Lord gets up early to pray

Our Lord had a busy day, and Mark describes it in ...

Mark 1:33 And all the city was gathered together at the door. 34: And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him.


Then we read in ...

Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

After a long day and a long night, our Lord still gets up early to pray. There are times when prayer is more important than sleep.


Psalm 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.


"He who runs from God in the morning will scarcely find Him the rest of the day." — John Bunyan


Our Lord had a solitary place to pray

Mark 1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Remember our Lord did not have a house nor an apartment nor a condo; He did not own anything and yet He finds a solitary place to pray.


If you do not have a place to pray you probably won't pray. You and I need to have a secret place where we can be alone with God and receive help, supply, and orders.  I challenge you if you haven't had a place or you used to have place to again make a place and go there to be alone with God daily.


Our Lord spent all night in prayer

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13: And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

When He faced an important decision He spent long hours in prayer. And so it teaches us that if we come to the great needs of decision and tasks of life that we need to commit them all to prayer.


Our Lord knows the importance of prayer. It is not possible to meet the demands of Christian life and warfare without prayer.


Mark 14:38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.


Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;

If you don't pray you will faint.


Example of the Early Church

When we read of the early church, we find them much in prayer. Not only on the upper room waiting on the promise of the Father, but when the Holy Spirit is given and they were in the midst of their work and they were advancing the cause of the Lord in the city of Jerusalem abroad they have many, many prayer meetings. And the early church advanced the cause of Christ by means of prayer. 

Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. 


Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.


Prayer is one of the foundations upon which the early Church was built. It was as natural as breathing. It permeated and undergirded their actions and fellowship. The early church was a praying Church. They prayed at all times, in every situation. Prayer was their lifeline, their source of strength, their means of communication and communing with the Father. They understood the importance of being connected with God, for support, supply and instructions.


E. M. Bounds wrote:

"What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer."


When we pray we are strengthened and encouraged and we experience the blessed truth of: 

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


The Bible abounds with examples of men and women who pray. Fighting men and women pray - Abraham, interceding for Sodom; Moses, pleading on the mountain; Elijah, praying for rain; Hannah, David, Hezekiah, Daniel, Simeon, Anna, Paul, etc.


"Give me one hundred preachers who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not a straw whether they be clergymen or laymen; such alone will shake the gates of hell and set up the kingdom of heaven on earth. God does nothing but in answer to prayer." — John Wesley


Give me men and women who love to pray and we will get the job done for the Lord.


Closing Thoughts

Brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow soldier of the cross, we cannot win this spiritual battle by carnal means. We cannot fight the powers of darkness with human reasoning or human strength. Don't let the devil deceived you into thinking that you can stand against supernatural powers in your natural wisdom and strength! When you start to think that way you will soon be defeated.


Do not be so naive to think that you can put on the whole armour of God on your own strength. Do not be so naive to think that you can use the armour of God effectively without the God's help. All the while that we are fighting in the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet or salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, we are to be in prayer. Do not forget to seek God and call on God who provided the armour and ask for His help that you may be able to successfully utilize them. The One Who gave us the armour is the only One who can enable us to appropriate them successfully and effectively.


The devil will oppose your praying more than anything else in your Christian life. He will oppose you in your prayer whether it is at home or in church, private or public. The devil will be at work to oppose you when you go to your knees. But the devil trembles when saints pray. "Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees. He fears because then men are linked up to God and Satan has not the chance of opposing when men and women are in touched with God.


Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God's own choosing:

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is He;

Lord Sabaoth, His Name,

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle