The Soldier's Prayer — Part 4

Sermon delivered on August 13th, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:10-20



We have now come to the fourth part in our series of sermons I entitled, "The Soldier's Prayer".  For a soldier to survive in a battle he must be properly trained and be properly equipped. Thank God in the spiritual warfare that we are engaged in, God has provided the armour to properly equip us. And it is a six-piece armour, but we must take it and use it skillfully if we are to stand and withstand the evil day. Now, the only way to put this armour on and use it effectively is by prayer.


Warren Weirsbe put it this way, "Prayer is the energy that enables the Christian soldier to wear the armour and wield the sword. We cannot fight the battle in our own power, no matter how strong or talented we may think we are. When Amalek attacked Israel, Moses went to the mountaintop to pray, while Joshua used the sword down in the valley (Exodus 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 in our text tells us how to pray if we would defeat Satan."


We are to fight on our knees!  We must fight with prayer, but not just any kind of prayer. It must be first of all - consistent prayer (praying always); it must be a comprehensive prayer (praying  always with all prayer and supplication); it must be it must be a prayer empowered and guided by the Spirit (praying  always with all prayer and supplication  in the Spirit): it must be a watchful prayer (watching thereunto); and it must be a persevering prayer (watching thereunto with all perseverance).  So you see, it is not just any kind of prayer, but it must be a consistent, comprehensive, Spirit-filled, watchful and persevering prayer.


This morning consider with me the last two qualities of the effective prayer of a good soldier — watchful prayer and persevering prayer.


4. Watchful 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;

We all know that if there is a spiritual discipline that the devil opposes more than anything else, it is prayer.  He will oppose you in your prayer whether it is at home or in churchprivate or public. The devil will be at work to oppose you to keep you from going to your knees. The devil trembles when Christians pray. He fears. Because then men are linked up to God and when men and women; boys and girls are in touched with God, Satan do not have a chance of opposing them.


And so he devilishly and wickedly opposes us when we pray and this is why we need to be on guard and be watchful in our prayer. Without watchfulness, prayer and all the spiritual armour will be ineffectual.


This is what our Lord told His disciples in ...

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


The phrase "watch and pray" occurs many times in the Bible.

Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.


Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


In the Old Testament, when Nehemiah was repairing the walls of Jerusalem and the enemy was trying to stop the work, Nehemiah defeated the enemy by watching and praying. 

Nehemiah 4:9 Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them day and night, because of them.


"Watch and pray" is the secret of victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

Be on guard. Be alert. Stay awake. Exercise constant vigilance. Be vigilant in awareness of threatening peril. Be alertly watchful especially to avoid danger. When you pray, keep your eyes open! Pray with your eyes open.


No soldier can afford to close his eyes to the enemy. Be alert to what the devil is doing or he will attack you while you are praying!  Be always on your guard lest your enemies should surprise you. The enemy can attack at any time. Keep your spiritual eyes open, for the enemy may assault you at any time!


Guard your prayer life. When you don't pray, you lose out. It is the first thing that slides away. It is the first step in a backsliding soul. Peter went to sleep when he should have been praying, and the result was his sad denial of our Lord. So watch and pray.


Guard yourself from prayerless prayer. Guard yourself form lifeless prayer. Guard yourself form Spirit-less prayer. We must be on the watch as we pray — on the watch against a wandering mind, against vain repetitions, against overused and meaningless expressions, against selfish motives and desires.


Adoniram Judson, one of the greatest missionaries ever sent out from American shores, was emphatic in his insistence upon prayer. He said,

"Be resolute in prayer. Make any sacrifice to maintain it. Consider that time is short and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God."


I heard that the cowboys in the past, guarding their cattle at night would do some drastic measures to keep themselves awake and alert. What they would do is rub their eyes with tobacco juice to keep at their vigil and to stay awake when weary. They did it for their boss and for the safety of the cattle. 


Be resolved. Do radical measures to keep watch and pray. Do it for your sake, for the benefit of others and most importantly for the Lord.


5. Persevering 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;

One of the most difficult aspects of prayer is persevering in prayer. It is easy to start but to persevere is hard. We are by nature impatient creatures. Most of us quit praying just before God is about to give the victory. We are prone to lose heart and to give up on prayer. Jesus knew that and that's why He said in ...

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

We must persevere in our prayers. We cannot afford to quit, because we lose out if we quit.


"Persevering prayer is like rowing a boat upstream; if you do not persevere, you will be carried downstream by the current."


Sometimes God delays His reply to test our faith. God keeps us waiting that He may test and humble us, and know what is in our heart. 

"Delays are his winnowing fan, discriminating between the chaff and the wheat. What we asked so vehemently we did not ask wisely. When we pray according to his heart, He graciously sustains us. Persevere; you do not know how near you are to the blessing you have sought for years." — F. B. Meyer


The word "persevere" simply means "to stick to it and not quit." "Pereseverance" suggests persistency, the opposite of growing weary and giving up. Perseverance means to continue to do something with intense effort with the possible implication of doing so despite difficulties. It pictures one's devotion to the task, keeping on it, persisting in it, being earnest towards it.


The early church prayed this way.

Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.


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. 


When Peter was in prison and, the early church prayed without ceasing and at the last moment, God answered their prayers.

Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.

Keep on praying until the Spirit stops you or the Father answers you. Just about the time you feel like quitting, God will give the answer.


Oh, may we pray like the early church.

Romans 12:12 Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;


By the way, 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 put it, "Prayer is not getting man's will done in heaven; it is getting God's will done on earth".


Our Lord practiced what He taught His disciples

Luke 22:44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

The night before the cross, our Lord was in agony. When it was hardest to pray, He prayed the hardest. Many of us being in agony stop praying sometimes.


Apostle Paul practiced what he preached 

We read that in his letter to the saints at Philippi, writing these encouraging words...

Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4: Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5: For your fellowship (participation) in the gospel from the first day until now;


O, may we be a praying church. May we have men and women, boys and girls who know how to lay hold of God in prayer. May we here at Grace & Truth saturate the rest of 2017 with prayers. May we never quit praying. May we pray until we a really praying. This is where the power lies.


"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.

― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer


Closing Admonitions

In Heaven there is no longer need for the armour, for when we finally get to Heaven, the battle is over and battle has been won.  But we are not in Heaven yet. We are still here on earth, fighting our spiritual battles. So while we are here, we must wear the armour day and night. And we must fight as if all depended on him but he should pray that all depends on God.


Andrew Murray

"Who is Sufficient for These Things? — The more we study and try to practice this grace of intercession, the more we become overwhelmed by its greatness and our feebleness. Let every such impression lead us to listen: My grace is sufficient for thee, and to answer truthfully: Our sufficiency is of God. Take courage; it is in the intercession of Christ you are called to take part. The burden and the agony, the triumph and the victory are all His. Learn from Him, yield to His Spirit in you, to know how to pray. He gave Himself a sacrifice to God for men, that He might have the right and power of intercession. "He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors." Let your faith rest boldly on His finished work. Let your heart wholly identify itself with Him in His death and His life. Like Him, give yourself to God a sacrifice for men; it is your highest nobility; it is your true and full union with Him; it will be to you, as to Him, your power of intercession. Beloved Christian! come and give your whole heart and life to intercession, and you will know its blessedness and its power. God asks nothing less; the world needs nothing less; Christ asks nothing less; let us offer to God nothing less."


Thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!


Keep on praying! Pray consistently and comprehensively. Pray in the Holy Spirit. Pray watchfully and perseveringly.


May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all.