Find your strength in the Holy Spirit
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil...(v.18) Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:10-11, 18
Ephesians 6:10-11, 18
- The Holy Spirit is our comforter, power, and guide.
- The Holy Spirit unifies and empowers the body of Christ. (See Eph. 2:17-18)
- How do you think of the Holy Spirit? Do you realize that He is..a he? (That means the Spirit is a person with a will, emotions, and a mind just like the Father or the Son is.) If the Spirit is a person like this, then what changes about how you think of the Spirit or relate to Him?
- Read Ephesians 2:17-22 together. What do you learn about the Spirit from this passage? Even now, while isolated by COVID-19, what is true of the Spirit's work in us all?
- For more on who the Spirit is and what He chooses to do: read John 14:26-31 and John 16:1-15. Read slowly and notice each time the Spirit is described: how does He choose to help or interact with us? Which of these do you most need in your interaction with the Spirit?
- After reading these, consider turning each into your prayer — whether asking the Spirit to interact with you like this or thanking God for these traits and actions!
Know your enemy
For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
- Learn how the enemy deceives individuals.
- Learn how the enemy builds systems of oppression.
- What is the enemy's tactic to deceive individuals? Don't theorize, go to the text or refer back to the sermon. Do you understand the tactic?
- Can you identify how the devil has used his tactic in your life? Has he sold you a deceitful idea that plays to your disordered desires? What have you accepted as normal that is not of God but a reflection of our sinful society?
- Where have you been preoccupied with flesh and blood? Can you think of who or where you're most frustrated, angry, or set on changing? How can you shift your flesh-and-blood perspective to a spiritual-oppression perspective?
- What have you been upset over that you need to pray over?
Learn how to fight
Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.
- Know that you are fighting God's battle and you must wear His armor.
- Learn the defensive and offensive tactics.
- What is God's armor and how do you access it? The text is your friend and tells us all we need to know!
- What is God's fight? It may help you to return to Ephesians 1 and 2, reading what it is that God battles against. Perhaps He's battling something you're not even thinking about, or perhaps you've gotten your head in the wrong fight.
- How can you engage the systems of oppression around you? Is there a particular opportunity in your workplace or workplace relationships? In your home? In our city?
Bottomline: Strategic prayer is how the Holy Spirit equips us to fight our spiritual battles.
The call to you:
- Break the systems of the enemy by praying for your brothers and sisters at Crosspoint.
- Name five people in Crosspoint you will commit to pray for daily.
- How will you commit to pray for your brothers and sisters at our church? Will you pray daily, weekly, monthly? Use a journal, pray passages of Scripture, etc. Be specific so that you can be accountable and follow through!
- Who are the five people?
The call to us:
- Have you taken the steps do respond here? Whatever you thought best to do while listening to the sermon, act on it!