I. WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED THUS FAR.
A. We are in a war.
1. It is not a physical war of flesh and blood.
2. But a spiritual war against the devil and his forces, the principalities and powers, and the rulers of darkness of this world.
B. We need to stand up against the enemy.
1. To do that we need help.
2. God has provided all of the help we will ever need.
3. We are to be strong in the Lord and the power of His might.
C. The enemy attacks us in many ways.
a. Doubt the word of God.
b. Doubt the love of God.
c. Doubt the faithfulness of God.
D. God has provided for us the armor against these attacks of the enemy.
E. So here we are attired in our armor standing against the many attacks of the enemy.
1. Know this, Satan is always probing to see if there are any chinks in your armor.
2. He is constantly on the attack.
3. He will use any guise or ruse to catch you off guard. Paul refers to the wiles of the devil.
4. He is cunning, clever and relentless in his attacks.
II. THERE ALWAYS COMES THE TIME WHEN WE MUST CHANGE FROM A DEFENSIVE POSTURE IN THIS BATTLE TO THE OFFENSE. PRAYING WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT.
A. It is through prayer that we begin to attack the enemy, and his strongholds.
1. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of the strongholds of the enemy.
2. It is no longer just trying to hold on, but to go on the attack.
B. There is a great spiritual battle going on in the Universe. There are two diametrically opposite foes. The Kingdom of God versus the kingdom of darkness.
1. The central battleground is on this planet earth.
2. The battle is for the control of men's lives, whether you will be controlled by your flesh or by the Spirit of God.
3. Thus like it or not, you are at the center of this conflict.
C. Rightly understood, prayer has to do with conflict. It is the deciding factor in a spiritual conflict.
1. In a spiritual battle the only true power is spiritual.
2. You may be the strongest man in the world physically, but be morally weak.
3. With all of your physical strength you are putty in the hands of the enemy.
D. Satan is a spirit being but his chief weapons against you come in the form of physical attacks.
1. For this he often uses those who are in alignment with him.
2. He is always trying to change the focus of the battle with you into the realm of the physical for he knows there he has a decided advantage.
3. He knows that in the realm of the Spirit, he is already defeated.
E. Prayer is a spirit force. It is our chief spiritual weapon in our battle with the enemy.
1. It is through prayer that we can pull down the strongholds of the enemy.
2. As a spirit force it takes on the characteristics of spirit.
a. Spirit beings are not limited by space.
b. They are not limited by material obstacles.
III. THE THREE FORMS THAT PRAYER TAKES.
D. Intercession is where we enter into the battle. It is taking ground that the enemy has been holding.
E. Jesus is the rightful King.
1. Satan is holding many lives captive today.
2. He has blinded their eyes so that they are not aware of their true condition.
3. They think that everything is great, that life is a blast, what they do not know is the fact that they are on the edge of eternity ready to enter into a Christless grave.
IV. "WITH ALL PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION IN THE SPIRIT."
A. What is it to pray in the Spirit?
1. In Romans 8
Paul speaks of the Spirit helping our infirmity, of not knowing how to pray as we ought.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what [is] the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to [the will of] God.
2. To the Corinthians Paul wrote,
For he that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth [him]; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.
For if I pray in an [unknown] tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.
What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
3. Jude speaks of praying in the Holy Spirit.
B. "And watching thereunto."
1. Jesus exhorted the disciples to watch and pray.
2. What part of prayer is watching?
a. Watching is often associated with the coming of the Lord.
b. Jesus spoke parables unto His disciples that men ought always to pray and not to faint. The parable was of the unjust judge and the little widow woman that came daily for justice. The thrust was persistence in prayer.
c. Peter said,
But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
d. When you get into the battlefield of intercessory prayer you can be sure the devil is going to try to attack you to take you away from prayer.
C. "With all perservance."