Paul writes of spiritual warfare prayer when he instructs us to:
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. —EPHESIANS 6:17–18
For us to be effective in warfare prayer we need to know:
- Our Commander, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Captain of the Lord’s hosts. (Read Ephesians 1:20–22; Colossians 2:15; 1 John 3:8.)
- Our enemy, Satan, who is the prince of the power of the air. (Read John 8:44; 10:10; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 2:2.)
- Our authority in Christ. (Read Luke 10:19–20; Ephesians 2:6.)
- How to listen before engagement. All spiritual authority is ambassadorial, meaning that we do not engage in warfare except by specific instruction. Our spiritual authority against the enemy is given to us one assignment at a time. (Read John 5:19.)
Worship Him for Who He Is
Worship and praise are inextricably linked to prayer. Anytime we come before Him to pray, we should “ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness” (1 Chron. 16:29). Worship is the art of thanking God for who He is. It is the act of adoring Him and acknowledging His attributes. The psalmist wrote:
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Once inside the gates, we enter the courts of prayer with praise. As worship is thanking God for who He is, praise is thanking Him for what He has done. In Psalm 86:12–13, King David said, “I will praise you, O LORD my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.” In these verses, the psalmist praises God for His love and deliverance, for what He has done.
Worship and praise are inextricably linked to prayer.
In Exodus 15, after God saved the Israelites by drowning the Pharaoh and his Egyptian army in the Red Sea, Moses and the children of Israel worshiped and praised God.
Blended Worship and Praise
In the following passage, notice how the children of Israel shift between praise and worship as they declare who He is and what He has done:
Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the LORD: “I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted [worship]. The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea [praise]. The LORD is my strength and my song [worship]; he has become my salvation [praise]. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him [worship]. The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name [worship]. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea [praise]. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.
“Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy [praise]. In the greatness of your majesty [worship] you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble [praise]. By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
“The enemy boasted, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake them. I will divide the spoils; I will gorge myself on them. I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.’ But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them. They sank like lead in the mighty waters [praise]. “Who among the gods is like you, O LORD? Who is like you—majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders [worship]? You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them [praise].
“In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling [praise]. The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia. The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; terror and dread will fall upon them. By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone—until your people pass by, O LORD, until the people you bought pass by [praise]. You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance—the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O LORD, your hands established [praise]. The LORD will reign for ever and ever [praise].”
When Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground [praise]. —EXODUS 15:1–19
Throughout the Old Testament, praise and worship were employed as men related to God. Then as Jesus ministered on earth, He taught His disciples to begin prayer with this worship declaration: “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name” (Matt. 6:9, KJV). He taught them to end prayer with this declaration of praise: “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen” (v. 13, KJV)!
Question: In your journal, make a list of worship and praise statements of your own. First, list worship words and phrases that describe who God is to you.
Now list praise words and phrases that describe what He’s done for you.
The next time you pray, begin your prayer with one or more of these declarations. He loves to hear us worship and praise Him (John 4:23).
What life experience helped you recognize the importance of prayer in your personal life? How is your life different when you do not pray as often as you should pray?
Write a prayer, using at least one sentence, for each of the following purposes of prayer:
- Adoring and thanking God
- Fellowshiping with God
- Requesting things from God
- Interceding for the needs of others
- Praying in the kingdom of God
Your Time with God
Did you know that a movement of prayer is growing and developing in America? It began as a simple devotional exercise. From there it grew to a “support” status, which served as a foundation of other ministries. Then it began to be recognized as a vital ministry in and of itself. Today we are seeing prayer become the very identity of the church.
The church in America is actually becoming a house of prayer, just as Jesus prophesied it would!
Lord God, I want to grow up in prayer myself. I choose this day to commit myself to devotional prayer, to pray fervently for the ministries You have led me to support and, like a spiritual attorney, to plead the cases of people and causes in prayer before Your throne. I want my very life to be a house of prayer for Your glory. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen.
We’ll be looking for you next week,
Eddie and Alice
“America’s prayer coaches”
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