You Can’t Live Without It

Prayer is absolutely essential to the life of the follower of Christ. Paul made that very clear when he spoke of the Christian’s armor.

“Pray 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, and also for me, that utterance may be given me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel for which I am an ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20).

Paul introduces a number of important aspects of our prayer life.

First, Paul saw prayer as a universal need of the saints of God. How could we stand against the schemes of the devil without prayer? How could we undergird the work of ministry and missions without prayer?

Second, as Paul told the Thessalonians, prayer should be a constant part of our day. We should “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and we should “pray at all times in the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:18). Jesus made concentrated prayer a part of His life. I’ve always been amazed at how much Jesus prayed and how He sought the direction of the Heavenly Father. Before Jesus chose the twelve, He spent the night in prayer in a lonely place.

If our Lord needed to pray, how much more do you and I need to constantly call on God?

Third, Paul wanted the saints to be alert. This implies vigilance and perseverance. Followers of Christ should be people who live with their eyes wide open and who determine to be praying in every situation. The disciples in the garden did not “watch and pray” but you and I can. We can be watchful and alert.

Fourth, pray in the Spirit. We cannot pray or follow Christ without the work of the Spirit (Romans 8:9). Since we are “in the Spirit” and “not in the flesh,” our praying must also be in the Spirit, meaning that we are attentive to His leading and open to His guidance.

Fifth, we should pray for one another. He wanted them to pray for all the saints. We obviously need people to pray for us, and we need to pray for others as well.

Finally, we should pray specifically. Paul gave explicit instructions about how they should pray for Him. He was in chains and wanted the gospel to be proclaimed. Therefore, he asked them to pray for him that he might boldly declare the hope that is in Christ.

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About Waylon

I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. — Psalm 119:165 (NIV)