“And take the HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, “ Ephesians 6:17-19
The Purpose of Prayer can never be seen as a private devotional exercise, completely isolated from a personal passion for the salvation of the lost. The HELMET OF SALVATION protects and fills the preacher with the mind of Christ. Don’t take my word for it.
“I came to seek and to save that which was lost.” Jesus
Preachers of The Gospel are alert to any loss of the mind of Christ. Prayerless preachers entering into pulpits without a passion for the salvation of the lost are a danger to the church. They may share few thoughts about the Bible, but they have lost their minds. Preaching ends the first time a preacher says, “I think.” It begins when the preacher says, “The Bible says.”
The consequences of preaching without THE HELMET, closely resemble results of playing football without a helmet. Never put a microphone in front of a player who has just had his “bell rung.” Thoughts flowing from a person who has experienced a concussion are often disturbing, and embarrassing. The same can be said of passionless, prayerless preaching.
Preaching requires the preacher to “Pray at all times in the Spirit.” There is nothing too small for God’s attention, or too great for His ability. Preachers pray over things great and small, with every breath they take. This is more than a Quiet Time. This is an understanding of prayer as a Life Time. Without prayer there is no life. Prayer is the breath of man drawing on the air of Heaven. It is out of this world.
“The sword of the Spirit” is the only offensive weapon listed in the Armor of God. All the rest are defensive. This should be a reminder to the prayer warrior that enemy attacks are inevitable, but until “the sword of The Spirit” is unleashed, the enemy ‘s attack will be relentless. The enemy won’t back off without a fight with the right weapon.
Note to self: Preaching is not connecting, communicating, entertaining, educating, or endorsing candidates. It is about cutting. That’s what swords do. Cut the ties to sin in your own life, and to those of the people within the sound of your voice. Never cut the sinner. Cut out the sin. Remember the difference. It’s huge!
“Draw the sword, and throw away the scabbard.” “Stonewall” Jackson, Civil War General and devout Christian
The Roman soldier’s sword was short, double-edged, and sharpened to a fine, penetrating point. Simply put, it was short and to the point, just like the gospel. When there is a mist in the pew it is the result of a fog in the pulpit. Preachers must never forget the point of the message. The Father’s love is revealed by, and received from The Son, and His love is sustained, by The Spirit.
The Roman soldier was most effective when his sword was wielded in an organized unit. When it was thrust from behind a personal shield, within “The Turtle,” a battle formation of tightened shields, it was an awesome offensive and defensive weapon.
If a Roman soldier lost his grip on the sword, he pulled his arm back behind his shield, and tightened up in the battle formation. Experience is a brutal teacher. Soldiers knew a lost grip could lead to a lost arm if pride deluded them into a belief in their own invincibility.
The enemy had no fear of the arm of the Roman soldier, but it had a healthy respect for the Roman sword. The devil understands the difference between posers and preachers. He has no fear of the former, but he fears the weapon of the latter.
Every preacher should have the same respect for “the sword of The Spirit.” Preaching without “the sword of The Spirit” may release some good advice, but it won’t unleash the power of God. This is done when “the sword of The Spirit” is held tightly by praying in The Spirit.
In spiritual warfare, the grip on “the sword of The Spirit” is tightened, by praying in The Spirit. This is the power of prayer. It is the synergistic, and simultaneous wielding of “The Sword of The Spirit,” with a grip strengthened by praying in The Spirit. Both are essential for the prayer warrior.
Praying in The Spirit involves perseverance, and petition, and rapid response to requests received from those who are in the battle formation. Perseverance in prayer reveals the prayer warrior’s will to resist the inevitable war weariness, and battle fatigue that comes with spiritual warfare. Petitions reflect a confident connection to The Source of supply. Prayer warriors pray because they know, God answers knee mail.
Prayer warriors are not “Lone Rangers” focused on their own personal agenda. They are part of global network of believers, and they promptly intercede for specific requests received from those in need of prayer support. Paul was one of them.
“Pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, “
Prayer warriors intercede for those in need of courage to share the best kept secret in the world. “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so.” TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!