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Encourage0gram March 24 2020

Posted by Pastor Rick John on

Encourage0gram
March 24, 2020
 
It is time to pray!  Prayer is our finest weapon in the armor of God.  Some would say we dress in the armor to prepare us for prayer!  Ephesians 6:10-17. Note the climax of the paragraph :
 
ESV Ephesians 6:18
praying at all times in the Spirit,
with all prayer and supplication.
To that end, keep alert with all perseverance,
making supplication for all the saints,
 
The universals (all statements) in this verse are enlightening! 

  1. Praying at all times - we are privileged through Jesus Christ to pray anywhere and at all times.  The Throne of Grace is open to us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!  We have no valid excuses to not pray. The word “times” could be translated in all SEASONS.   
  2. Praying in the Spirit.  The Holy Spirit prays for us, always in the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27).  What a comfort this is! How this motivates us to pray!  We should not remain passive in prayer but be bold!  Relying on the Spirit we can pray the Scriptures back to God. The pattern for prayer from the Word is: we pray to the Father, through the Son, by the Holy Spirit.
  3. With all prayers and supplication.  "Prayers" is the general word – it is calling upon God from a humble position. The noun is used 36 times and the verb 85 times in the New Testament.  The noun "supplication" suggests specific requests.  I am so thankful that God cares for every request we offer to Him.  We cast our cares on Him because we know that He truly, deeply cares for us! 
  4. Keeping alert!  The charge to stay awake in prayer suggests our need to pray with focus on God.  To pray with precise, strategic requests.  Prayer is hard work!  The Devil will try every trick to keep us from praying! We must pray with keen minds and hearts (1 Peter 4:7).  Staying alert is the common theme of Jesus’ instructions on His return to the earth (Mark 13:33). 
  5. With all perseverance.  This precise term “perseverance” is only found in this verse. It describes one who has inner strength to not give up! There are other synonyms for perseverance in the Scriptures.  Perseverance is so needed today!  We continue in our faith in spite of the circumstances!  We will not give up on God because He will never give up on us! The trials come to develop our perseverance (James 1:2-4; Romans 5:1-5)  By perseverance we glorify God!  Charles Spurgeon loved to say, “It was by perseverance that the snail boarded the ark!”  The Puritans taught us to "pray until you pray!"  Vigilance in prayer is often a battle but the victory of answered prayer is so very rewarding!  
  6. Making supplications for all the saints.  We are called to pray for everyone!  We pray most confidently for fellow saints in God’s family. The work of intercessory prayer is essential to our lives, our fellowship, our unity, our faith!  Supplications are specific requests.  You must know someone to offer supplications for them. We share our most intimate requests for prayer with the ones we know and love the most.  Never underestimate the power of intercessory prayer!

 
Please pray!  Pray on your knees!  Keep praying with confidence even when you do not see the answer.  Be specific and remain confident. Our God is a prayer answering Father in Heaven!  Use our website to share your prayer requests with us. Now is the season to pray without ceasing! 
 
ESV James 5:16-18
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 17 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
 
We have updated our website so that links to Grace101, RightNowMedia, sermon uploads and online giving should be easier to reach.  I apologize that the upload for the Pilgrim’s Progress cartoon is not available to everyone.
 
Be Encouraged!
Pastor Rick

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