Praying Through the Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  Eph. 6:10-12

This scripture makes it very clear that Satan is evil, scheming and incredibly powerful and we need spiritual armor to stand against him. So here is a way to use the armor of God as a guide for your prayer time. Use it once a day or once a month to examine your life before the Lord so you aren’t susceptible to the enemy’s attacks.Here are the pieces of the armor and some questions to prayerfully ask yourself for each one:

Belt of Truth

What lies from Satan about myself, others, the world around me, or circumstances am I believing? Am I not telling the truth in certain areas about certain things; where I am slanting the truth?

Breastplate of Righteousness

Do I realize how God sees Christ’s righteousness instead of my sin? How is my sense of self-worth right now? What sins do I need to confess? Is there unnecessary guilt on my heart right now?

Shoes Fitted with Readiness

Am I ready to share the gospel at any time with those who should ask? Of people I know whom should I pray for to know the Lord? Who should I go to with the gospel message?

Gospel of Peace

What am I stressed about? What do my thoughts reveal I am worried or fearful about? Am I regretful about things that have happened in the past? Am I anxious about the future to come?

Shield of Faith

What are the arrows of temptation ahead today? Knowing my weak points, where would Satan tend to strike? What natural desires would he start with?

Helmet of Salvation

What doubts about God and his Word attack my mind? What do I doubt God will do for me? What questions of the faith haunt me?

Sword of the Spirit

What promises of God do I need to hold onto for any of the above? What scripture should I be reading and/or studying?

***Remember to pray in His Name (He’s our power of attorney), in the power of His Blood (we can’t be touched because of it), and under the cross (he’s triumphant there for us).

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Church Resurrection Sunday

 

If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the Body of Christ and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:26-27                                                                                                                             

I recently came across a book called Autopsy of a Deceased Church. The title gives you the shivers, doesn’t it? It brings to mind pictures from one of the many forensic shows on these days. A naked cadaver is brightly lit in the middle of a cold examining room. The coroner makes a huge incision down the middle of his chest. He looks at pieces of it under the microscope. Meanwhile, family members are in a waiting room not far away grieving the loss of their loved one.

An autopsy is a sad picture for a church as well: a church consultant sitting in a café casually talking with the last remaining church members one after the other. “So what were the last few years like at… what was the name of your church again?” Each one has a far away look in their eyes as they reflect on the many years that lead to its demise.

  • “I think we forgot why we existed. We didn’t talk much about the Great Commission,” one says.
  • “All I remember is fights over some decision or another the elders made,” another reflects.
  • “We talked a lot but only prayed a little.”
  • “It became all about making the few of us still going, happy. It was all about ‘what I want in a church.’ “

Well, let’s get that image out of our head, and replace it with another… Church Resurrection Sunday. A church on the brink suddenly turns around. God is at work.

As people come in to the service, they are happy to see each other, they smile and exchange hugs. “We may be few but at least we have each other,” they say.

In the prayer and sharing time, one person stands up and says, “Please pray for my co-worker, I explained some of the gospel to him and I would love to see him come to the Lord.” A few others make similar requests.

Then another rises to their feet. “I would like to ask for forgiveness for the way I have behaved the last few years,” and after a bit more explanation of their sin of gossip, they close, “Will you forgive me?” A number of people say “yes” right out loud.

“After many years of ignoring each other,” another jumps in, “my sister in the Lord and I have reconciled and put all our differences behind us.” People begin to clap.

Then they go to prayer and it’s not just the pastor who prays; many contribute by praying aloud. He has to shorten his message because the prayer time goes so long, but he doesn’t mind at all.

The church is living out what it is called to be and it’s resurrected from what looked like certain death.

Now that’s a better picture, isn’t it?