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374. Walking in the Word, Pray in the Spirit at all Times

By julie

Paul teaches us in Ephesians 6:18-23 to pray in the spirit at all times and on all occasions. What a great reminder as we wrap up 2022! God has a plan and purpose for you in 2023, learn how you can walk in His will through prayer.

 

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Welcome to Walking in the Word, the biblical teaching arm of the Women World Leaders podcast. I’m your host, Julie Jenkins. Thank you for joining us as we wrap up 2022 and head into 2023! Allow me to take a minute and say thank you for your involvement in Women World Leaders this year! Whether you have volunteered with the ministry, attended an in-person event, supported us through your donations, or simply listened to this podcast, please know that we value you! And more importantly, God sees and loves you!

If you’ve missed any episodes this year, we encourage you to go back and listen to them or even download them so that you can share them with anyone God may put on your heart. As we study the Bible systematically together through this Women World Leaders podcast, please know that we are ONLY scratching the surface of all that God has for you in His Scripture – which is a living, breathing work of art created especially for you! I pray that you will return again and again to scripture daily, allowing God to speak to you where you are.

We are excited to jump into 2023! If you have been around Women World Leaders for very long, you know that our ministry was founded on and is guided by prayer. Before we embark on ANY endeavor, we seek God’s will. So whether you are reading our Voice of Truth magazine or stepping into an author’s role in one of our books or anything in between, know that YOU are covered in prayer. One of our leaders recently commented that prayer is the best gift we can give anyone. I think that says it all! Prayer is so important that our first Leadership Connect of 2023 will be dedicated to learning more about prayer – I hope you will plan to join us for this time of learning and fellowship on the third Monday in January – that is January 16th at 7pm ET. You can join us from anywhere in the world – in fact, we often have leaders on from India, Australia, and Canada. To register to receive the Zoom link, visit our website – www. Womenworldleaders.com.

And…as prayer is the cornerstone of our ministry, I thought it would be appropriate to wrap up 2022 by studying scripture about prayer. So today we will be studying Ephesians 6:18-23. Before we begin, let’s pray.

Dear Heavenly Father! Thank you for allowing us to Walk in your Word together. Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to know you more and to hear your heart on a personal level as we spend time with you. Father, I ask that you would infiltrate the heart, mind, and soul of each woman listening today – teaching her what you want her to know, allowing her to hear directly from you. We praise and thank you for making this, our time together, possible. And we give all glory to you for every good and perfect gift that only you can supply. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Sit back and listen as I read the writing of the apostle Paul from Ephesians 6:18-23 from the New Living Translation.

18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.[a]

19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[b] 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.

21 To bring you up to date, Tychicus will give you a full report about what I am doing and how I am getting along. He is a beloved brother and faithful helper in the Lord’s work. 22 I have sent him to you for this very purpose—to let you know how we are doing and to encourage you.

23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,[c] and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.

 

Paul begins this part of his letter by encouraging his readers to 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion.

Prayer is part of the armor given to us by God. It is ALWAYS available to us …and God wants us to harness prayer continually! Calling on God is the means by which we can experience His PROTECTION, which enables us to stand strong against the schemes of the devil and the evil of the world.

How do we pray continuously? On ALL occasions? Is that even possible? Yes, it is! We can pray on all occasions by living our lives devoted to God and by keeping Him in mind at all times. This requires staying alert to and being aware of God’s presence. When we are, we will be more prone to offer quick prayers to God regularly throughout the day. We often condition ourselves and teach our kids to pray before meals and before bed. That is a great start! But what about the other 23 hours and 45 minutes a day? If you were side by side with someone all day every day, and they only acknowledged you for 15 minutes a day, you would just think they were downright rude! Don’t be rude to God – acknowledge His presence!

When you see a beautiful sight – thank Him! He created it! Tell Him – great job, God!

When you need guidance – ask Him! How should I respond, God? What do YOU think?

When you are worried, request His peace! He WILL carry your burden for you.

When you are bored, look around…and revel in His glory.

When you are in pain, rely on His comfort.

No prayer is too small for God! He longs for you to turn to Him every moment! To see Him. To recognize His presence. To share your life with Him! God IS with you … all – the – time! What a treasure we each have simply in His presence!

Paul goes on to say…

Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Once you start recognizing God’s presence beside you, remember that He doesn’t want you only to focus on what YOU need, but He wants you to petition Him for the needs of others. We as Christians MUST lift each other up in prayer. Look around – who can you stand in the gap for?

That cranky store worker? – perhaps she needs God’s strength to get through her day.

What about teachers? Many of us entrust the care of our children into the hands of teachers every day. And teachers are usually overworked and underpaid. A teacher has to be prepared to challenge the student who may learn quickly, to patiently explain to the student who just doesn’t get it, and to deal with emotional, psychological and even physical issues. Teachers NEED our prayers.

What about our pastors and healthcare workers? They need our prayers for strength and wisdom and peace.

And how much could an overanxious child thrive if someone were to pointedly pray for him?

We all need prayer – and it is our honor to lift each other up to our Holy God. Ask God who He wants you to pray for! I used to hate waking up in the middle of the night – I would immediately think about the amount of work I had the next day and how those minutes of sleep I was losing were robbing me of needed energy and focus. But I’ve learned – I’ve learned that it isn’t all about me! Now when I wake up in the middle of the night, I thank God for nudging me and I ask Him who He wants me to pray for at that very moment.

Paul knows how important an army of prayer warriors is for each of us, that is why he says next

19 And pray for me, too. We each must be bold in asking for prayers for ourselves! Sister, what God has called you to is HUGE! He has a kingdom-purpose for your life – a mission that you were born for, gifted for, and particularly placed for! And yet, that mission that you are called to, I am here to tell you, absolutely can NOT be accomplished in your own strength – you need the strength of God Himself upholding you! And you need others around you who will petition the heavenlies on your behalf! None of us were meant to walk through this life alone, and YOUR purpose is intertwined with MY purpose. Do you have someone you can go to for prayer? We, at Women World Leaders would be honored to join with you in prayer! Please go to our website – womenworldleaders.com – and tell us how we can pray for you!

Paul asks for prayer, not just for his own walk and daily life, but so that he can do the will of God – the purpose of his life. He says…

Ask God to give me the right words so I can BOLDLY explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.[b

Paul knew how vital his mission was! He knew that telling the good news of Christ was what he was supposed to do, but he also knew that by fulfilling that calling, he was risking his own death. Even as he wrote, he reminds us that He was in prison for living out his anointing – and he asked for prayers for strength and boldness to fulfill that calling – to not be intimidated by the schemes of the devil and the darkness of the world.

My life is not in danger when I preach and teach the Word of God, so I truly can’t imagine how Paul must have felt or the empowerment that he needed. But like Paul, my struggles are real. I am not in prison, but I fight against time constraints, pride, and fear of failure – and I, too, request your prayers that I may keep on with the good fight! Even as I ask for your prayers, I lift YOU up in prayer – because we each have a calling that is significant and important, and we must band together as God’s ambassadors – as Women World Leaders – upholding each other, and most importantly, upholding the message of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse 21 tells us that Tychicus was delivering this letter to the Ephesians and that Tychicus was there to give a full update on Paul and encourage and strengthen them as Christians.

Which should lead us to ask…who do I need to encourage today? Who can I strengthen with my words and actions? Maybe even with my demeanor? A quick text or a well-timed email can mean the world to someone. Eye contact and a smile – even across Zoom – can make a difference in someone’s day and may be the encouragement she needs to just keep walking – and let’s be honest, sometimes we all need that little push to just keep walking!

As we close this year and step into a new one, let’s re-commit to prayer in a way that will make the devil want to run in the opposite direction. As Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians, so we at Women World Leaders say to you…

23 Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters,[c] and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness.

Dear Heavenly Father – you are gracious and glorious. You are our strength and our song. You are our provider and our peace. Jesus, I am reminded today that you know what we are walking through – because you walked on this earth in human form, and because you walk beside us each and every day. Father, I pray for strength and joy for my sister as she lives so courageously the life that you have called her to live. We are an army for You, God. Today we put on our armor and we walk forth in victory – knowing that you have won the battle and that evil and death are defeated. We are unified in you, we stand together for you, and we ask that you shine forth your light into this world for all the world to see as we live as imitators of you. God, we submit to you and we take joy in your peace and your presence. I ask your blessing and protection over each one listening today, may she see and know your true presence in her life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.