The Soldier's Prayer — Part 6

Sermon delivered on September 3rd, 2017
Morning Service

By: Pastor Greg Hocson

Scripture Text: Ephesians 6:10-20



We, believers are commanded to pray for one another. Praying for others is not only a responsibility given to preachers but to every member of the body of Jesus Christ.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.


We all need to be prayed for. We all need to pray for others. We pray for others, not only when there is sickness or there is crisis. Our responsibility as Christians to pray for one another is not limited to prayers for the sick. There are many various items we can pray for others. While every family, every individual has their own specific needs and though many times we are not aware of them unless they feel free to share them to us; we can still pray for them intelligently.


By the way, Paul, the great apostle, many times asked the churches he ministered to, to pray for him. Even Jesus Christ, the Son of God Himself asked for the prayers of Peter, James, and John in the garden of Gethsemane.

Matthew 26:38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. 39: And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. 40: And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? 41: Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


Realizing our responsibility to pray for other believers, how then should we pray for one another? Today, I want to give us specific prayer items so that we can pray well for other believers.


We need to avoid generic prayers. I believe at one time or another, we all have prayed generic prayers. Prayers that go like this: Lord, bless Peter. Lord, be with James. Lord, meet the needs of John. Lord, bless all missionaries everywhere.


We need to be more specific in our prayers. The more specific we are in prayer, the more specific the answer will be


So, what do you pray? What should be the contents of our prayers for other believers? How can we improve the quality of our praying? One way you and I can improve the quality of our praying is to model our prayers after the prayers found in the Scripture. You can never go wrong praying the prayers found in the Scriptures, more specifically Paul's inspired prayers. 


Paul is not only a preacher of the Word but also a doer of the Word. Paul practiced what he preached. He is a great example of praying for other Christians. When Paul prays for others, how does he pray? Let's look at his prayer for the believers recorded here in the Book of Ephesians. They are found in ...

Ephesians 1:15-23 - Prayer for Enlightenment 

Ephesians 3:14-21 - Prayer for Enablement


I - Prayer for Enlightenment

Ephesians 1:15  Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, 16: Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 

Paul was not unaware of the moral and spiritual deficiencies in those whom he served, but he was the kind of man who was able to find some reason to thank God in the lives of other Christians. After giving thanks for them, Paul then prayed for them.


1. That we might know a deeper knowledge and understanding of Who God is

Ephesians 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:

As we pray for other believers, pray that they will have a greater revelation of God. Pray that they will know God in an intimate way.


"The believer must grow in his knowledge of God. To know God personally is salvation (John 17:3). To know Him increasingly is sanctification (Philippians 3:10). To know Him perfectly is glorification (1 Corinthians 13:9-12). Since we are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28), the better we know God, the better we know ourselves and each other. It is not enough to know God only as Saviour. We must get to know Him as Father, Friend, Guide, and the better we know Him, the more satisfying our spiritual lives will be." - Warren Weirsbe


Daniel 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.


Psalm 9:9 The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. 10: And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

The more we know the LORD, the more we will trust Him. The more we know the LORD, the more we will love Him. The more we know the LORD, the more we will serve Him. So it is important for us to pray for one another that we might know the LORD in a deeper and intimate way.


Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, 9: And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: 10: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;


2 Peter 3:18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.


2. That we might know a deeper knowledge and understanding of who we are

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19: And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,

When we pray for one another, pray that our eyes of understanding might be enlightened. Pray that we might know who we are and what we have. We need to be enlightened. We need to be fully awake and fully alive to who we are and what we have in Christ. It is sad reality that too many Christians are not aware of the great spiritual riches that they have. As a result of this ignorance they do not enjoy them and they do not use them to the glory of God.


Christians who have not discovered these great riches they have in Christ are like the late newspaper publisher, William Randolph Hearst, who invested a fortune collecting art treasures from around the world. One day Mr. Hearst found a description of some valuable items that he felt he must own, so he sent his agent abroad to find them. After months of searching, the agent reported that he had finally found the treasures. It turned out that they were in Mr. Hearst's warehouse. Hearst had been searching frantically for treasures he already owned! Had he read the catalog of his treasures, he would have saved himself a great deal of money and trouble.


And so, we need to pray for others to be enlightened. When you read Paul's prayers for other believers, you will discover that none of his prayers are request for physical or material things. This is not to say that Paul was not concerned about their material and physical needs because you will also read in ...

Philippians 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So I am sure that he prayed for their physical and material needs but Paul's main concern was their spiritual needs. Also Paul did not ask God to give them what they did not have, but rather prayed that God would reveal to them what they already had. What do they already have?


What do we have in Christ?

A. God's Calling Upon Our Lives

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 


Jon Courson puts it this, "Throughout Scripture, the word "hope" always refers to that which is coming, to that which is ahead. I am convinced the single greatest problem carnal Christians have is that they do not know the hope of His calling. They don't know the reality of heaven. Consequently, they constantly strive for material things and are continually caught up in carnal pursuits. They are depressed and discouraged because they do not see the big picture of eternity."


As we pray for others, pray that God would open our eyes that we may know and understand the hope of God's calling upon our lives.


a. It is sacred calling

It is a holy calling and it starts at salvation.

2 Timothy 1:8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; 9: Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,


Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.


1 Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:


b. It is a secured calling

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

The hope of our calling is the absolute certainty of our heavenly destiny and includes all that awaits the saints at the return of the Lord Jesus and is what Paul referred to by the phrase the "Blessed hope" writing in Titus that...

Titus 2: For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15: These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.


Our "living hope" guarantees our inheritance, our protection until the revelation of our the final aspect of our salvation - glorification - when Christ returns "in the last time"


This is why it is important when we pray for other believers that we pray that we would fully understand and to deeply realize -- the hope of God's calling. Because, the better we truly know the "hope of His calling", the more we will be motivated to "walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called".


B. God's Riches Bestowed Upon Us

Ephesians 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 


There are two ways to interpret "the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints". Our inheritance or God's inheritance - both views are taught in the Scripture.


1. Our Inheritance

The inheritance could be referring to our inheritance; all that we will inherit in Christ. Paul spoke of our inheritance in ...

Ephesians 1:14 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14: Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.


2. God's Inheritance

The other interpretation is that saints are God's inheritance. God considers His children as His treasure. This is an amazing truth—that God should look on us as a part of His great wealth!


This view that the saints are God's inheritance has precedence in the Old Testament, Moses recording that Israel was God's possession...

Deuteronomy 32:9 For the LORD's portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

The people of Israel belong to the LORD; Jacob is His special possession. Our riches are in God, God's riches are in His saints.


This same truth is found in ...

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Here in this verse we read that believers are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation a peculiar people - a people for God's own possession so that they may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.


It is an amazing thought that as believers in Christ we are no longer our own but that we belong to God. We are His own possession. He considers each us to be His precious possession. This thought is too great to fully comprehend in this life! We belong to Somebody. We have His "seal" on us, and more accurately within us in the presence of His Holy Spirit. Knowing this should lead the believer into a life of dedication and devotion to the Lord.


C. God's Power Available to Us

Ephesians 1:19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20: Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21: Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23: Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

After praying that believers would know their inheritance, Paul then prayed that they would know the power that is available to them. The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is available to us even today as we live our Christian life. This is very important to grasp because what is the use of being rich if we cannot enjoy our riches?


Warren Weirsbe commenting on these verses writes ...

"He is talking about divine dynamic, eternal energy, available to us! After all, what good is it to have wealth if you are too weak to use it? Or if you are so afraid of robbers that you cannot really enjoy it? John D. Rockefeller was the world's first billionaire. It is said that for many years, he lived on crackers and milk because of stomach troubles caused by worrying about his wealth. He rarely had a good night's sleep, and guards stood constantly at his door. Wealthy—but miserable! When he began to share his wealth with others in great philanthropic endeavors, his health improved considerably and he lived to be an old man... God's power enables us to use God's wealth. But there is a second reason why we need God's power. There are enemies who want to rob us of our wealth (Ephesians 1:21; 6:11; 6:12). We could never defeat these spiritual foes in our own power, but we can through the Spirit's power."


As we pray for one another, let us pray that we would realize and experience the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christian in our individual lives. So many Christians live a defeated life. They forget that believers are more than conquerors through Him that loved them.


Will Paul's prayer be answered in your life? Will you, starting today, begin to know by experience God—God's calling—God's riches—and God's power?


Closing Admonition

The Apostle's marvelous prayer teaches us how we are to pray for one another. No generic prayers but specific prayers. O, how we need to pray appropriate, thoughtful, meaningful prayers for other Christians. And these prayers of Paul help you and me do that.


My prayer is that God would use the prayers of Paul to transform our prayer life, give us a greater eternal perspective, and transform our thoughts and affections to be more Gospel-centered and Christ-exalting.


I believe praying these things for one another will not only change the person we are praying for but it will shape us and form us as well.


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