Eph. 6:18 THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER'S SECRET WEAPON
Intro: Ill. Paul's great treatise on the armor of the victorious
Christian. Paul is telling us how we ought, as Christians, to prepare for the battles that
we face day by day. It is impossible to enter and win the battle in one's own strength,
but through the power of the Lord and His armor, we can and will prevail. It would be
helpful to us to remember that when Paul penned these words, he was under arrest and was
probably surrounded by some Roman soldiers. As he wrote these words, he was able to see
the armor of the soldiers and, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he was able to make
a spiritual application using it as an example. Now, most considerations of the spiritual
armor end with verse 17. However, Paul knew that no amount of armor or weapons could
produce a valiant warrior. For any soldier to become a warrior, there was required an
inward strength and courage to face the battle. Without these, regardless of how well
trained or equipped the soldier may have been, at the first hint of trouble, he would have
fled in terror from the face of the enemy, he would have been captured, or he would have
been killed. So it is with the Christian soldier. We can have all of the Lord's armor in
place, but lack the necessary strength and courage to go to battle and we will surely
fall. That is why I believe verse 18 should be included in the list of godly armor. If the
Word of God is our offensive weapon and the other pieces of armor are for our defense,
then prayer can be said to be our secret weapon. Because it through prayer, and prayer
alone, that we gain the necessary strength and courage to stand forth and fight in the day
of battle. Without this necessary component we are doomed to failure, but with it, and
with the other pieces of God's armor firmly fixed in their places, we cannot be defeated,
but will surely prevail. With these introductory thoughts in mind, let's take a few
minutes to consider the Christian Soldier's Secret Weapon.
I. A DEFINITION OF THIS SECRET WEAPON
A. Praying - "Pray can be defined as that
spiritual activity in which the child of God engages the Heavenly Father in two-way
B. Prayer is an undertaking that can be practices anytime, in any place
and for any valid purpose.
C. A few thought on prayer may be in order here:
1. Prayer is the process by which we dress up in God's
The power by which we go forth to do battle in God's
The practice by which we appropriate and aim God's
2. Prayer is the single greatest force ever unleashed on the earth, and
it is the single most powerful weapon at the saint's disposal. This world may find a way
to close our churches and take away our Bibles, but no one will ever be able to stop God's
people from calling on the name of their Heavenly Father!
3. Prayer brings the praying saint into the presence of Almighty God!
4. Prayer brings the power of God to bear in the life of the saint.
5. Never are we more like Jesus, on this earth, than when we pray!
D. People of faith have called on the name of God since before time
immemorial. In prayer, people have been heard, helped and strengthened by God. Prayer is
an exercise that God has promised to bless, Jer. 33:3; John 16:23; 1 John 5:14-15! If we
pray from a clean heart of faith, we can rest assured that God will hear and answer our
prayers, Matt. 21:22.
I. A Definition Of This Secret Weapon
II. A DESCRIPTION OF THIS SECRET WEAPON
A. Prayer Should Be Constant - (Always) - This
does not mean that we are to carry on a constant babbling as we go through life, neither
does it mean that we are to throw up a bunch of meaningless words and phrases, Matt. 6:7.
It does mean that we are to take 1 Thes. 5:17 to heart. It means that we are to be in a
constant state of communion with God. In other words, the receiver is to left off the
hook. We are to walk in a constant sense and awareness of His presence, so that we are
instantly able to communicate with Him throughout the day. We must have this kind of
intimacy with the Lord if we are to remain close and clean in this world.
B. The Classification Of Our Prayers - (All
prayers & supplication) Genuine praying covers all the bases. A good soldier employs
all the various types of prayer that are at his disposal. There are formal and informal
prayers, silent and vocal prayers, public and private prayers, spontaneous and deliberate
prayers, prayers of supplication and intercession, prayers of confession and adoration,
prayers of humiliation and thanksgiving. There are prayers of praise and of questioning.
There are prayers that are worshipful and prayers that are fired to the sky like an
emergency flare. All these kinds of prayers have their place and all are used effectively
by the wise Christian soldier.
(Ill. The Christian who limits his praying to merely asking for things
is missing the blessings that come along with using prayer as a means of praising the Lord
and of making intercession on the behalf of others.)
C. Our Companion In Prayer - "In the
Spirit" - The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit helps us in our praying, Rom.
8:26-27. Our prayer lives, like every other part of our lives, should be brought under the
control of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, we will find ourselves praying selfishly and
foolishly , and asa result, we will find our prayer life hindered and ineffective - James
4:1-3. However, Paul, in Galatians, tells us how we can be free from the tendency - Gal.
5:16-17. What we must always remember is that true, genuine praying always starts in
Heaven with God. True prayer totally God-centered! The Father originates the prayer, the
Holy Spirit brings the thought to our minds. Then, as we voice the prayer placed in our
hearts by the Holy Spirit, we send the prayer back to God where it originated in the first
place. Prayer is like a giant triangle that begins and ends in Heaven, and every point in
between is controlled by God. When we are truly praying in the Spirit, we can always be
confident that we are praying according to God's will and that He will hear and answer our
prayers - 1 John 5:14-15.
I. A Definition Of This Secret Weapon
II. A Description Of This Secret Weapon
III. A DETERMINATION IN USING THIS SECRET WEAPON
(Ill. If we are to be truly effective, then prayer cannot be allowed to
become a hit or miss proposition. It must instead be constant, consistent and centered in
God. Paul uses some action oriented words here to teach us about using prayer more
A. We Must Be Alert - Ever watchful for
opportunities to pray and watching for things that would hinder prayer. (Ill. Either we
are like the Disciples, Matt. 26:38-45; or we are like those whom Nehemiah commended -
Neh. 4:9.) God expects us to pray, but at the same time, He expects us to alert to what
Satan is doing. To pray and not watch is to leave yourself vulnerable to defeat.
"Watch AND pray" is the key expression!
B. We Must Be Active - (perseverance) - This
simply means that we are to keep on praying until the answer comes from God - Matt. 7:7-8.
(Ill. Jacob - Gen. 32:24-30.) Too often, we give up before the Spirit of God says stop, or
before the answer comes. We ought to continue in prayer until God says stop or He gives us
what we desire - Ill. Luke 18:1-7. (Ill. The early church practiced perseverance in
praying - Acts 12:1-19)
C. We Must Be Asking - (Supplication for all
saints) - that is, we must remember that we are not in the battle alone. All around us are
other Christians who are struggling and fighting the devil too. Our duty is to be in
prayer one for another. Why?
1. We are all brother, on the same side, in the same army. Regardless of
how some act. We are not enemies!
2. We are all prone to fall into evil and to fail and we all need the
help of those around us to see us through.
3. Because Jesus said that by our love one for another would all men
know that we are His Disciples, John 13:35. Nothing promotes love and unity among the
people of God like being in constant prayer one for another. You see, it is virtually
impossible to pray for someone with bitterness, anger, unforgiveness or hatred in your
heart toward them. Nothing you can do will help your brother more than your getting under
his burden with him and your helping him to bear that load, Gal. 6:2.
4. The church and church folk need prayer.
5. We never know when our prayers may be exactly what another Christian
needs at that very moment.
Conc: As Paul looked as those Roman soldiers he could see the girdle
around their waists, the breastplates and shoes. He could see their helmets and shields
and swords. He could see all the outward signs of their readiness for battle, but he could
not see those soldier's strength of character of their courage. So it is with you and me.
All may look good on the outside, but inwardly, we may be lacking that one key ingredient
that spells the difference between defeat and victory. For the Roman soldier, it was
inward strength and courage. For the Christian, our secret weapon is prayer! Remember, no
amount of armor can produce a warrior for Christ, only prayer can accomplish this. With
these things in mind, How's your prayer life tonight?
Sermon By Alan