Prayer: GI or GQ (9-23)

  • GI (Government issue) GI Joe or GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly – a magazine published for men to keep up on politics and style)
  • Ephesians 6:10-20 esv
  • Sniper photos

Sniper 1Sniper 2Sniper 3Sniper 4

  • These people are dressed for the mission at hand
  • If they were dressed like me how easy would they be to spot?
  • I think we often forget that prayer is war
  • We forget that it is a mission we have at hand when we go before the Lord
  • We forget that we are asking for aid in a war against the devil himself
  • Jesus said in Matthew 6:5-13

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

  • Before I continue I want to pray a prayer you all probably know, but I’m going to make it a little different.
  • Our Holy and wonderful Father in Heaven, that most high and wonderful place, hallowed be Your title and designation, Your kingdom and sovereignty come, Your decisions and will be consummated.
  • Ok now that I’m done butchering that, let us pick back up at verse 9
  • He says

9 Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

  • We often go to prayer with these attitudes: that it has to be perfect, that the prayer must sound good.
  • When we go to prayer with this attitude we go, metaphorically, like I’m dressed.
  • We go pretending like we are ready for war yet a part of us finds it necessary to think of what others think of our prayer or it not sounding pretty enough
  • I can’t tell you the times I’ve heard people say, “Well I’m just not good at praying…”
  • If you can talk you can pray
  • Prayer is about accomplishing a mission and if we go to battle with even just one piece of us not ready for war we will fail to accomplish our mission
  • Prayer can be pretty but more importantly it needs to be sincere
  • Matthew 18:2-3 says, “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, ‘Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.'”
  • How many children sit and think about what they are going to say before they speak?
  • Most kids will ask questions at some point that just blow your mind because they haven’t learned to filter what they say yet
  • This is how we ought to pray: with sincerity and honesty, being real with what we have to say
  • Even at VBS its hard to get the kids to pray
  • And why? It’s because we have elevated prayer to be something that has to be eloquent
  • A sniper will spend hours, sometimes even days, looking for the perfect shot. He/She doesn’t look for the shot that is going to look or sound the coolest.  He/she doesn’t aim for the rope holding the heavy sign that’s hanging over the officer when he steps outside for fresh air but, rather, directly at the target.
  • Ephesians 6:18 – With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert
  • This means prayer should be the same – we need to be committed to spending hours or even days focusing on the target and being direct with our prayer.
  • Though we are not snipers with high power rifles, we do have a weapon
  • We have the Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:17)
  • Yeah, the Bibles powerful, but how do we use it as a sword?
  • Pray the scriptures and praise with the scriptures – it’s as easy as what they prayed in Acts 4:24.  And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them”
  • Yes, you can even pray Genesis Chapter 1…
  • It doesn’t have to be word for word
  • Or if you want more of a battle type prayer, one that comes to mind is just like Jesus himself did in Matthew 4: 1-11, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written,

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’

and

“‘On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God
and him only shall you serve.’”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

  • The devil knew exactly who he was tempting yet he had no fear what drove him away was the repetition and adherence to the scripture.
  • Or just simply pray Matthew 6:9-13. The Lords prayer, if said with sincerity, is literally praying the scripture just by reading
  • So I ask you, are you really not good at praying or are you worried you won’t sound right?
  • Are you focused fully on what battle you are facing?
  • Are you praying according to, and with, scripture?
  • Are you a Prayer GI or a Prayer GQ?

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