Read and be inspired by this excerpt from Fruit to Harvest
Sermon #2 - by Deborah Lee
Scripture Reading: Ephesians 6:18
God desires all people to come in touch with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. The Almighty wants all the saints to grow in their spiritual maturity into Christlikeness. Although we also know there is a spiritual battle going on. Our enemy, the devil, fights against this plan of God from happening in our hearts and hearts of our Muslim friends. He doesn’t want to see God moving among the families of the nations. So the Bible shows us the way to fight this battle, and that is to pray.
Through prayer, we come to know God and we get to know his desires. We all know that we have to pray, but we often stop praying when the tribulations of life come. Then we lose our faith, and we focus on the challenges rather than in the promises of God. That is the battle that we all fight.
Prayer and intercession are an essential part of the missionary life. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ went to the Cross, was buried, rose again on the third day, and is now sitting above, at the right hand of God, interceding for us (Rom 8:34). Also, Hebrews 7:25 highlights his role as our intercessor when it says that God is able also to save forever those who draw near to him through Jesus
Christ, since Jesus always lives to make intercession for them, for the people.
As we persevere in prayer, we will see people being set free from the devil’s control in their lives. We will see people leaving the dominion of darkness and coming into the kingdom of God (Col 1:13).
To persevere in prayer, we must grow in the knowledge of God. As we feed ourselves with the Word of God, our minds will be renewed and faith will be produced in our hearts. Then we will not be distracted or lose heart, but persevere in prayer.
Earlier in Ephesians 6, we find that the believer is fully armored to fight the spiritual battle. We must never forget that. And since this is a spiritual battle, we need to understand the ways that prayer is a weapon against the enemy. And in our main text, Ephesians 6:18, Paul goes on to say that we should pray with “all prayer.” What does it mean to pray with all prayer? It is praying with every part of the
totality of communication with God. Everything we do in prayer for the nations is an act of spiritual warfare.
When we see a breakthrough in one area, we are likely to get breakthroughs in other areas as well, because the enemy we are fighting is the same and often uses similar strategies. Moreover, for each battle we fight, we must stay vigilant and persevere in prayer.
As we serve the kingdom of God and do his work, we will face a lot of challenges. If we act as if the task could be fulfilled in our own strength, we will certainly be burdened and weary. But the Word of God tells us to hope in the Lord in Isaiah 40:31: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength ... will run and not grow weary.”
David delighted to sit in the presence of God and consult the Lord before making any move. He was a man who learned the importance of spending time in God’s presence: “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere” (Ps 84:10).
We learn from David that prayer is a relationship with God. It is a daily spiritual exercise for the believers to know the Lord in intimacy and understand his ways. If we persevere in God’s presence and receive from him a specific task to fulfill, no matter how hard it is, God will accomplish his will through our lives.
As people living in a fallen world, we need to continually remind ourselves that our battle is not against flesh and blood, it is against principalities, rulers, principalities, and powers of darkness (Eph 6:12). Therefore, we must take on the full armor of God by feeding ourselves with the Word of God. As we grow in the Word and pray
in the Spirit, we will continue to grow as disciples.
Our faith is always declared through our worship in the midst of storms of our lives. We choose to find our strength in our God, and our God alone—nothing else. Through prayers, we will witness God bringing down the enemy’s strongholds in our hearts first, and in the hearts of the people that we are praying for. Let us persevere in prayer. We will witness God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. We will see the eternal fruit of souls been harvested among the nations.