Determined Woman Seeking to Remain Spiritually Strong

A daily devotion for June 28th

Family Talk

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Ephesians 6:18a

There is a very strong and powerful relationship between putting on the armor of God and praying. It is not enough to pray; you must also have put on the armor of God. Prayer follows putting on the armor of God. It is a natural, normal outgrowth. I am not suggesting that we will not need to take our wills and put them to a task and follow through. But the place where our will should come in is not, first, in prayer, but in doing what is involved in putting on the armor of God. First, think through the implications of our faith, and then prayer will follow naturally. When it comes in that order it will be thoughtful prayer, prayer which has meaning and significance.

This is the problem with much of our praying now, is it not? It is so shallow, so superficial, on a level with that jingle you have all heard of the man who prayed, Bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more. Sometimes our prayers are only a cut above the simple childhood prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. What is needed? Prayer should he an outgrowth of thoughtfulness about the implications of faith. This adds depth, meaning, and significance to it. Prayer should be pointed and purposeful.

What is prayer? Is it a mere superstition, as some people think — a mumbling, a talking to yourself under the deluded dream that you are addressing a deity? Or is it a form of black magic by which some heavenly genie is expected to manipulate life to our desire? Or is it, as certain groups tell us, self-communion — a psychological form of talking to yourself in which you discover depths in your being that were there all the time, but you did not realize it until you prayed? All of these ideas of prayer are quite dissimilar to what is mentioned in Scripture.

If you take the whole range of Bible teaching on this great subject of prayer, you will find that underlying all of the biblical presentation is the idea that prayer is conversation with God. Christians are in the family of God. Prayer is family talk. It is friendly, intimate, frank, unrestricted talking with God, and it is into this close and intimate relationship that every individual is brought by faith in Christ. By faith in him, we pass out of the realm of being strangers to God and aliens to the family of God and into the intimate family circle of the children of God. It is easy to talk within a family circle, but think what harm is done to that intimacy if people refuse to talk. Prayer, basically then, is simply carrying on a conversation with God.

Paul also mentions specific requests. In our conversation with God it is perfectly proper to ask, because we are children and he is a father. What the apostle is saying is, After you have put on the armor of God, after you have thought through the implications of your faith in the ways that have been suggested previously, then talk to God about it. Tell him the whole thing. Tell him your reactions, tell him how you feel, describe your relationship to life around you and your reactions to them, and ask him for what you need.

Lord, teach me to pray in a pointed and powerful way as a natural outgrowth of putting on the armor of God.

Life Application

Is your prayer life characterized by shallow cliches, or is it an honest and intimate conversation with God?

This Daily Devotion was Inspired by one of Ray's Messages

Advice when Attacked

Listen to Ray