Ephesians 6:18; Pray at all appointed times with alertness.

Class Outline:

Wednesday July 20,2022


At the finish of Paul’s doctrine of the armor of God, Paul adds to the Christian soldier, the need for alert prayer for all the saints.


EPH 2:17-18

And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; 18 for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father.


EPH 3:11-12

This [mystery of Christ, unfathomable riches of Christ, manifold wisdom of God] was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.


Paul tells us to pray at all appointed times. We’re never told to wait for some level of knowledge of growth. We all know we are cleansed by the blood of Christ and so therefore we can approach God will all confidence and boldness. Prayer is not effective because of how long we pray or how many words we use or what kind of words we use. When we don’t know how to put our requests into words then the Holy Spirit intercedes (ROM 8:26). We might start out with selfish requests or foolish ones, but we should keep praying knowing that nothing we say will be able to remove us from God’s presence with us and our experience of it if we seek Him. If we desire a more effective prayer life, meaning a more effective and rewarding life with our Father, then we will need to mature as any child. A toddler is heard and loved by their parents, but there is a lot that neither yet understand about the other, which will change with time, and if the two are in harmony, then only a mature understanding of each other will make the deepest kind of relationship. God understands all of us, even the future us, even the very far in the future in heaven us, but there is so much more that we need to understand about Him, and with that knowledge and growth, we will find effective, deep, and joyful prayer with our Father in heaven.


EPH 6:18-20

With all prayer and petition pray at all times [appointed time or season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.


“With all prayer and petition pray at all appointed times in the Spirit.”


Prayer is the universal word for reverent address to God; and petition or supplication is the term for specific requests. Some think that Paul is using both terms for emphasis, while others think he is drawing a distinction between the position of prayer in the mind and the actual requests. It could very well that Paul has both things in mind.


The importance of prayer can be seen in many ways. One such way is the term for the temple as the “house of prayer.”


ISA 56:7

“For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples.”


We will later look at our Lord’s quote of this verse along with JER 7:11 when He cleansed the temple. The house of prayer is for worshipping God, and so is prayer for the saint in all his asking for himself and others there is to be an aspect of divine worship.


“in the Spirit” - the faith of the Spirit filled believer who comes to God in obedience and godly fear.


It is not restrictive, nor fearful to approach God and gain His audience for communicating with Him. It is also not flippant or disrespectful or sloppy. It is certainly not with sinful minds or selfish thoughts that we approach Him. When Jesus taught us to pray, He began with “Our Father, who is in heaven.” Heaven is the place of holiness and righteousness. This is why Jesus includes the location of God so that we are reminded that our Father is not like any other father we know. Certainly, we come to our Father with our weaknesses and flaws and our High Priest sympathizes with them. If we have sin on our minds, we need to first rid ourselves of sinful things or thoughts, and then come to God as we are.


The Holy Spirit is grieved and quenched by disobedience. It is clear that obedience through humility is the manner by which we speak to our Father who is in heaven.


Some call this legalism. I can only respond with the question, “How can obedience to God be legalism?”


Some say that God hears all we say, even when sinful because He is omniscient. I completely agree. But is that the reason that God gave us prayer, just so He could hear our voices and thoughts?


Prayer is for the purpose of communicating with God one-on-one, to know Him deeper, and to intercede for others.


There are definitely more reasons for prayer, but we don’t need a one-stop definition. I want to make the point at the start that prayer is more than God hearing you. As He is omniscient, nothing about us or in us, not one thought or desire, is unknown to Him, i.e., He does hear all.


The fear of the Lord is also involved in that it is a godly fear of reverence and respect. On occasion this is also attacked as legalistic. But these ignore passages while embracing others. God tells us to heed all of His word.


ACT 9:31

So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria enjoyed peace, being built up; and, going on in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it continued to increase.


2CO 7:1

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.


EPH 5:21

be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.


“in the Holy Spirit” refers to us coming to God in an obedient, spiritual, humble, and fearful manner.


Prayer is the most enjoyable event in the saint’s life once he or she gets past all misconceptions and misplaced personal wants. We may want prayer to be something that it is not and then complain that it is not fun or too difficult or too stringent or too …. When we’re done with our study we will all be able to see what it is, that it can’t be another way, and if we will enter into it as obedient children, that audience with our Father, who is the Almighty, eternal, Creator, will be our greatest desire and greatest joy as well.