Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Armor of God | Pray Always

The armor of God has been a topic that has been difficult to get our minds wrapped around. What it is and how we put it on, has seemed to be a bit mysterious. So maybe by looking at the effect of the armor we can get a better understanding of how to put the armor on.

In The Cool Zone - Armor of God - Pray Always

We previously looked at The Word of God, so let's take the next piece. We're leaving in, The Effect of Armor, section here for continuity.

The Effect of Armor

The most prominent place the armor of God is listed is in Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJVEach piece of armor has an effect. Since it is spiritual armor, and we are physically oriented, it can be difficult to understand what is happening when we have it on.

One of the things we know about armor is that once we are in the battle, we shouldn't have to think about the armor. It will passively protect us and we shouldn't have to give it another thought. We inspect, test and repair the armor on a regular basis and ensure it is fitted correctly on us.

Now, there are probably many effects that we can identify but this study is simply to start the process. For our purposes, we are focusing on one effect but be sure to seek out more. If you find more than what is listed here, please add them to the comment section below.

So, let's continue to look at the effect of each piece. Today we are tackling prayer.

Praying always in the Spirit

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit... - Ephesians 6:14-18 NKJV

Prayer and supplication in the Spirit has an effect. The effect is the immediate and undeviating attention of our God.

The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. - 1 Peter 3:12 NLT 

We generally do not think of prayer as armor. When we are taught about God's armor, the lesson usually ends at, the Sword of the Spirit. Yet, there are a couple more pieces that we want to be sure we are equiping! Prayer, and being watchful (covered in a separte post), are two pieces of armor we do not want to forget.

He's Listening

Our Father is serious about listening for our prayers. It is a sweet aroma to him. They are something that he takes great joy in. If you are in Christ the result of prayer is God hears you. Many others things happen as well but it's important to simply and quietly know... God hears you.

May my prayer be counted as incense before You; The lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. - Psalm 141:2 NASB

The indication that God hears us is not just witnessing the fulfilment of a prayer. The most important indication we want to fix our sight on, is the scriptures tell us that God hears our prayers and looks forward to them. It is a promise, repeated many times, that God is listening for us.

Can an argument be made that when a Christian is stubborningly walking in their sin with no thought of giving themselves over to the Lords ways, they will not be heard, or listened to? Sure! That is a certainty.

However, anyone who is in Christ and calls out to the Lord, He is listening every time!

We know that God doesn't listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will. - John 9:31 NLT 
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Take Action!

Why is it hard to believe God hears me when I pray? 

Maybe it's the pair of scriptures that we as a body of Christ have had a difficult time reconciling. There's the one where we need to pray according to God's will and the other is where James indicates that we do not receive because we ask with incorrect motives. So, for these two things it comes down to needing to know both God's will and our motives.

They are real requirements, but they need to be balanced with the idea that there is no Christian who is an expert at prayer right from the start! We don't know God's will when we first hear the call to prayer. We also do not understand our own motivations either. This can leave us in a place where we feel unqualified to pray at all! It's one reason why we see so many Christians without a vibrant prayer life.

We are not suprised if a child asks for a treat when they are hungry, rather than a healthy meal. However, a good mom or dad is going to hear their request and get the child a healthy meal and guess what? The treat will follow because there is no sin in wanting a treat. However, like the Lord, mom and dad are not going to give a gift that is good but will become a curse.

There is no sin in the desire for a thing but their is a purpose to the fulfillment of prayer that prepares a person to experience the blessing as a blessing... and not as a curse. Therefore, we see a Father, who knows how to give good gifts doesn't desparage our less seasoned prayers but prepares us to receive a thing as a blessing that does not become a curse.

Their is no sin in having a treat. There is no sin in having a good thing. So, the Lord raises us up developing more mature requests, but also to prepare us to receive what we are asking for without doing harm.

A good discipler will walk a with new Christian to help them go from a child like prayer life to an effective prayer warrior. Prayer is a skill that is learned. It must be consistently practiced and over time the disciple becomes an expert in asking according to God's will and bring their motivations in line with the Lord's.

In the mean while, the call is to pray. Get it all out there. Put it all on the table and the Lord will guide you to a more mature and seasoned prayer list. Especially, if you are in a discipleship relationship!


God hears you...
As soon as I pray, you answer me. - Psalm 138:3 NLT
(The LORD) He delights in the prayers of the upright. - Proverbs 15:8 NLT
So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, "Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me..." - John 11:41-42 NLT 
The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayers of the righteous. - Proverbs 15:29 NLT
As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength. - Psalm 138:3 NLT
The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. - James 5:16 NLT 
This is my favorite... 😃
I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! - Isaiah 65:24 NLT  
Here are additional resources to help develop your strategy: 

Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.

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Concept

“The effect of prayer is the immediate, undeviating attention of our God.”

In The Cool Zone concept. Think like Jesus thinks. Deliver the Gospel. Teach what you have learned.

In The Cool Zone and More Life in My Day are sister websites dedicated to discipleship. They work in tandem, providing the teaching and coaching for growing in the Lord and becoming effective in our walk with the Lord. 

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