The Vital Necessity of Prayer – Ephesians 6:10-20

29 May, 2022

Book: Ephesians

The Vital Necessity of Prayer

So, What does it mean to Pray?

  • That seems like a good place to start for a sermon on Prayer

The Baptist Confession of Faith describes…

  • Christian Prayer as an offering up of our desires to God, for things agreeable to his will, in the name of Christ, with confession of our sins and thankful acknowledgment of his mercies. (similar to West.Conf.Faith)
  • Prayer is our Soul’s Communion-Fellowship with God thru
    • Listening to God speak by the H. Spirit, thru His Word
    • And our Speaking to Him in Response…
  • EM Bounds: “Prayer is God’s Life-giving breath”


Bible Describes – Illustrates Prayer as….

  • “Moses Pleading with the Lord”, in 32
  • “Hannah Pouring out her soul before the Lord”, in 1 Sam.1
  • “Job Seeking God & making supplication to Him”, in 8
  • And “Asaph Drawing near to God”, in 73


The Bible Commands us to Pray

  • 32:6 the Godly R commanded to pray, while God may Be found
  • 6:6, Jesus commands us to pray in secret, & Promises that our Hvn. Father, who sees what done in secret, will reward us.
  • 5:17-18, Paul tells us it’s God’s Will for us,
    • to Rejoice always,
    • to Pray without ceasing, and
    • to Give thanks for everything
  • And obviously, here in our text, Paul under the Spirit’s inspiration commands us to Pray…


Along w/ commanding us to Pray, God encourages it by Answering Prayer:

  • 24, Abram’s servant Prayed, & God directed him to Rebekah
  • 32-33, Jacob Prayed, & God inclined Esau’s heart toward him
  • 2, Daniel prayed & God enabled him to tell Nebuchadnezzar. his dream, and to give the interpretation of it
  • And there’s dozens more encouraging examples in the Bible of characters who Prayed and God’s answered their prayers.


So, Why is it that so many Christians, including me, find Prayer so hard

  • Almost every biography that I’ve read, of Men of God, who accomplished great things for God, admitted that their prayer-lives were one thing they struggled to do better & do well
  • Which means: our struggles…. my struggle to pray is not in isolation.



  • Prayer is the Evidence & Outworking of: Spirit’s Presence within
  • In1:13, having heard Gospel & Believed, we’re filled w/ Spirit
  • And its then, that the struggle between Flesh & Spirit begins
  • Paul writes in 5:17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
  • So, our desire is there, we recognize the need, but the flesh wars against the Spirit, to hinder us, & prevent us, from obeying
  • We hear/sense the urging of the Spirit of God within, to pray…
  • And Immediately our flesh & the Devil begin to whisper together into our minds: you’re too busy…
    • you’ve got too much to do to pray just now, maybe later


  • The Devil knows full well that our greatest weapon against the flesh and himself is indeed
    • Scripture-Guided,
    • Spirit-filled,
    • Broken-Hearted Prayer
  • He knows, better than us, that
  • Prayer is the Power-house of the Spirit-filled Christian Life
  • And, The Church’s Prayer-meeting is its Engine-Room
  • So, Every time the Devil is able to lure us away from Time in God’s Word and Time in Prayer, he wins yet another little battle to hinder and stumble our walk with the Lord and…
  • He robs us of the riches which God promises, thru Prayer –
    • And No, I don’t mean physical-financial riches
  • I mean the riches, of sweet fellowship/communion with God.
  • Men-Women of God we must strive in the Power of the Spirit to Resist the Flesh & the Devil by fighting, on our knees, in Prayer…


To that end,

  • We’re in 6, focussing on vss.18-20, so that all of us, from pulpit to back doors may be Reminded & Admonished & Encouraged….to Pray as we ought to Pray
    • to Pray as God Calls us to Pray
    • to Pray as God, our heavenly Father, Desires us to Pray


So Notice First: The Purpose of Our Prayer – Its the Why question

  • To see the first purpose, we need to see the Logic of the text
  • So, Vs.12, Describes the Spiritual Battle that we’re in
    • against Rulers, Powers & Forces of darkness & wickedness
  • 13, Commands us to take-up, the full armour of God, for the purpose of Standing firm, in the evil day
  • 14-17, describes in detail the Armour that we fasten on.
    • The Belt of Truth and The Breastplate of Righteousness
    • The Shoes/Boots of Gospel Assurance,
    • The Shield of Faith, The Helmet of Salvation and
    • The Sword of the Spirit – Rhema (spoken) Word of God
  • Then, about vs. 18, A number of Greek scholars suggest that the phrase: “with all prayer and supplication” describes the means/manner by which we Put on the whole armour of God.
    • So the Problem is the Spiritual Battle we’re all in
    • The Solution, Paul provides is the Armour of God
    • The Means, the How it is that we make apply God’s Solution to us, is “with all prayer & supplication”
  • So the action of putting on spiritual armour is done with Prayer
  • How do we fasten armour that is spiritual, not physical? Prayer


So, Why do we pray… What’s One Great Purpose of Prayer?

  • We Pray to fasten on the armour of God,
    • by which we stand firm,
    • in the evil day,
    • the enemies devices,
    • one of which, is to keep us from praying
  • But how exactly do we do that? What’s it look like?
  • This is not a sermon on the Armour of God, so we’ll just look at two examples for how prayer fastens on the armour…


  • 1) Prayer wraps the Broad Belt of God’s Scriptural Truth around the waist, to protect those vulnerable parts of me.
    • So, having read/heard the Scriptures preached,
    • We take and pray that truth into our lives.
    • We… I pray the Application of that biblical truth into my life, my circumstances, my situation, my relationships, etc.
    • We pray for the Truth of scripture to protect us from drifting into error and falsehood
    • Prayer is the means by which Belt of Truth of fastened on


  • 2) Prayer straps on the Breastplate of Righteousness
    • The Breastplate protected the heart and lungs – sometimes in wrapped around to protect the back….
    • I pray for the Righteousness of Christ to be mine,
      • Not in Justification, God has already done that
    • I pray for God to Empower & Enabling me to live my life Righteously, Doing those good works that God prepared for me to do… (Eph.2:10)
    • I hear preached – I read in the word of God about the great need in my life for of Holiness & Godliness & Faithfulness, and so I pray that God will enable me to live in Holiness, I pray that God will use his tools to transform my life to be a Righteous life
    • I… We Pray 4 God’s Grace to Live Righteously before Him
    • Becoz that’s the only way it will happen
    • Prayer is the means by which the Breastplate of Righteousness is fastened on..
    • (I said 2, we’ll look at 3…)


  • 3) Prayer ties the Laces of: studded Boots of Gospel Assurance
    • Remember: the Preparation (hetoimasia) of the Gospel of Peace has the idea of Prepared, Fixed, Firm Footing
    • It’s the firm footing provided by studded, cleated boots
    • Prayer fastens those cleated boots to our feet. – meaning
    • Prayer enables us to Stand firm against the enemies attacks and not be pushed back, off of our feet.
    • We Pray to understand those 5 great gospel truths:
      • Saved by Grace alone,
      • thru Faith alone,
      • in Christ alone,
      • as revealed in Scripture alone,
      • to the Glory of God alone
    • We pray to understand them, becoz understanding keeps us from being pushed back, stumbled & thrown down by the enemies opposing un-biblical, non-gospel lies
    • We Pray for grace to live in light of those truths
    • Prayer fastens the firm footing of the gospel to our feet to keep us from being pushed over or into error
  • Its Prayer that enables us to grasp firmly to the Shield of Faith
  • Its Prayer that pulls the helmet of salvation down over the head, face, eyes, mouth, ears
  • Its Prayer that holds firmly to the Word of God, that is the Sword of the Spirit
  • One Great Purpose of Prayer is to fasten on the Armour of God


Notice (very quickly) two other purposes in the text

  • 1) Paul pleads with them, in vs.19 to Pray for Him that Utterance may be given to him, to Paul, so to Missionaries, to Ministers, to Preachers, to Evangelists
  • I started studying this text with the intention of briefly exhorting & encouraging us all to be praying for our missionaries
  • But as I studied, I realised that there was so much more here about Prayer that needed to be said, than just pray for our missionaries – but that is very clearly one focus of the text
  • Bros & sis, the greatest thing we can do for our missionaries is
    • to pray for them
    • to let them know we are praying for them, and
    • to continue to pray for them
  • But Pray specifically for utterance to be given
  • The word for utterance is Logos – Word, Message…
  • Pray for Boldness to make known the mystery of the Gospel
    • The Mystery which is Christ in you, the Hope of Glory
  • So pray that God the Holy Spirit will give them the messages that are tailor made
    • for the people who’re being ministered to
    • to suit the circumstances those listeners face,
  • For the Message to be used of God to draw those people
    • to know God, to love God, to trust God,
    • to be conformed to Christ’s Image….
  • Pray Bros & Sis, for missionaries to be given utterance – message!


  • Can I add, 4 those of U who pray 4 me, thank-you, don’t ever stop
  • Any Power behind any pulpit-ministry comes thru prayer
    • The Pastor-Preacher’s Own Prayer
    • The Prayers of the People to whom he ministers
  • I’ve told you about Spurgeon and the men who asked him about the power behind his ministry…. (story)
  • The last purpose behind Prayer is God’s Glory
  • It should never just go without saying…
  • The Ultimate Purpose behind all prayer is that Prayer Glorifies God as the only one able to answer, to provide, to satisfy us.
  • God’s answers may not be what we wanted, but they are always what we need – And by answering in that way, God magnifies Himself to us, and receives the Glory as the Giver of All Good Things…. (so much more I want to say about that)


Notice Secondly: The Practise of Our Prayer

  • The Text gives us some answers to the question of How we Pray?


Vs.18, Scripture Urges us to Pray At all Times, lit. times or seasons

  • Solomon wrote in 3:1-8, a whole series of dif. times-seasons
  • Consider: Wonder. Blessing of being able to Pray in these seasons
    • We must pray during times of Birth and times of Death
    • We must pray during times of Planting & times of Harvest
    • We must pray during times of Killing & times of Healing
      • During times of Tearing dn. & times of Building up
      • During times of Weeping & times of Joy
      • Thru times of Mourning and times Dancing
      • Thru times of Scattering and Gathering
      • Thru times of Embracing and times of Distance
      • Thru times of Searching & times of Accepting loss
      • Thru times of Silences and times of speaking,
      • Thru times of time of love and a times of hate
      • Thru times of time of war and times of peace.
    • No circumst’ce, time or season, can ever truly stop us fr. praying
    • U say what about sin! Sin will definitely hinder our prayers….
    • But consider also, in those times of falling into sin, the Spirit of God works to provoke of our hearts, to repent and return in prayer, to confess sin, to seek & find forgiveness & restoration
      • it comes thru times of Prayer…
    • We’re to Pray at all times – Pray always.


In Vs.18, Scripture Urges us to Pray in the Spirit

  • We’re to Pray in Submission to the leading of the Holy Spirit
  • We’re to Pray in the Enabling Power of the Holy Spirit

How do we do that?

  • We read the Holy Spirit’s Inspired Book to find out:
    • How we should pray
    • What we should pray for
    • Why we should pray?
  • We submit our will to His will as revealed in His Word.
  • We cry out to God, for His help in praying
  • We open our mouths…. and we simply begin, and
  • The wonderful truth is that Praying in the Spirit, is praying with His All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Gracious, Kind, Help


Vs.18, Scripture Urges us to Pray with Alertness & Watchfulness

  • Bros & Sis, Pray with your Eyes Open!
  • I’ve No idea who started this practice of praying with eyes shut
  • Pray! with your eyes open, looking, observing the needs for prayer
  • Pray! mindful, observant of what’s happening in each other’s lives
  • Calling, texting, emailing, how can I pray for you?
  • If someone tells me they have nothing in particular to pray about,
  • I know, that they’re in great need of prayer, becoz they’ve been prevented from seeing just how great their own need is.
  • Even if its pride that says I don’t want to admit I have a need, but im embarrassed to admit it… that’s a problem.

Listen, We All need prayer,

  • pastors, elders, deacons, teachers, missionaries, congregations, every one of us is in need of prayer
  • We need prayer, becoz our Spiritual journey is not yet over
  • We need prayer, becoz God’s work is not yet done in us
  • We need prayer, becoz we don’t yet look much like Christ!


Vs.18, Scripture Urges us to Pray with Perseverance

  • Paul means with an unshakeable tenacity
  • Like Jacob, 32, who wrestled w/ God until morning, and would not let go until God blessed Him, until God answered his prayers
  • So, Bros & Sis, we must Lay a-hold of God, and not let go until God blesses us with the answer…
  • It’s following G. Muller’s eg. who prayed 4 years til God answered
    • My Goodness, this sermon is punching me in the guts!
    • How easily I let go…
    • How easily we let go from wrestling with God in prayer
  • Bros and Sis, Pray, with all perseverance.


Beyond Eph.6, Bible describes our attitude in approaching God in Prayer

  • 11:6, it’s Faith in God, Faith that He Is & that He Rewards those, who diligently seek Him, And
  • We seek Him no more plainly, than when we seek in Prayer…
  • Prayer is the Simplest, Purest Expression of Faith in God
  • We Pray confidant of God’s Ability/Willingness to commune w/ us
  • We Pray Recognising His Personal Control over All created things,
    • over All living creatures, and All their actions
  • 10:22, teaches us: Prayer must be w/ a Sincere Heart and
    • in Reverence for God & Fear of Him
  • Our Prayers are to be offered in the realisation of:
    • our Insignificance as God’s Creatures, and
    • our Unworthiness as Sinners, saved by Grace Alone
  • But Prayer is at its sweetest, most natural, when offer it in child-like love & dependence on our Heavenly Father
  • To God our Heavenly Father, our Prayers are His Delight
  • EM Bounds, “To God, prayer is what the incense was to the Jewish Temple, it impregnates everything,
    • it perfumes everything,
    • it sweetens everything
  • Well, that’s just the tip of the iceberg in How We Pray…


Finally, Thirdly, Notice: Paul describes The Content of our Prayer

  • This answers: Ques. what can/should we include in prayer


Vs.18, Praying with all Prayer & Supplication

  • One Commentator explained it as “with all types of Prayer”
  • Prayer is not only our Requests made before God
  • Prayer is a conversation-communing with God as Child-Father
  • If my boys only ever spoke to me, to ask for stuff, that would be an indication of a very poor, very shallow relationship
  • Our Privilege to Pray includes All types of Prayer


  • Our Prayers must Include: Worship for God.
    • Begin your prayers with Worship for God’s Person/Work
    • It is a strange and terribly inappropriate thing to rush into God’s All-mighty, All-knowing, Absolutely-Holy, and Glorious Presence… and without noticing or recognising the glory of the God to whom we speak, start listing our requests
    • Brothers and sisters as you begin your prayers, be in Awe and Amazement of just who this God you speak to, truly is!
    • So, How do we learn to worship God in our prayers?
    • Easiest answer in the world: Read the Psalms!
    • Reading the psalms fuels our minds and hearts to worship
    • The wonderful, helpful thing about the psalms is that they present the believers worship in the midst of so many life-contexts, not merely when everything is going well,
    • But when life is going, completely pear-shaped, the wheels are off the wagon, and the wagon has crumbled to dust…
    • But the Psalmists are still worshipping!


  • Our Prayers must include Confession of Sin
    • An understanding of who God is, will very quickly remind us of our own sinfulness before Him – Sin that must be confessed and for which we must seek forgiveness


  • Our Prayers must include Giving Thanks for blessings
  • Our Prayer must include Supplications

Vs.18, Pray for all the saints

  • (within the local church)
  • I mentioned already how we all need prayer
  • So, brothers and sisters, pray for each other
  • Pray in prayer meetings, and pray in your private lives
  • I have a list of every member of the church and as many of our visitors as possible, and I pray thru that list, pleading with God for your spiritual growth, and those things that I know of that need to be prayed about.

Vs.19, Pray for me (Paul)

  • Pray for the missionaries – again, we already mentioned this at the beginning
  • Pray for Reli & Neise in Ratanikiri
  • Pray for the Pyatts in New Zealand and Malaysia
  • Pray for Naton Kamanga in Africa
  • Pray for the Masts in Zambia
  • Pray for the Gordillos in South America
  • Pray for the Wetzel’s working with AMT
  • Pray for Rev. Rajah Singh and the IEM
  • Pray for Kom Pong Song Bible School
  • Pray for KCS, for Joy of Cambodia


  • Pray, Brothers and sisters
  • With Prayer Fasten on the armour of God so that you may be able to pray even more effectively
  • Pray for the Purpose of Glorifying God
  • Pray for the Bold Utterance of Message of the Gospel
  • Pray for all the saints,
  • Pray for the Missionaries
  • Pray for the Pastor, Elders, Deacons, Congregation, Visitors, Unsaved who join together in worship every Sunday morning
  • Pray