Sermon:  The Quiet Battle

Summary:  Paul gets more specific on the "way" to use the Spiritual armor.  It involves 
a lifestyle of prayer, which is more than just asking him for things, but communing 
with him.  I lifestyle of prayer means alertness to God's view on your surroundings, and 
understanding of our place and purpose in the world. 

Know:  The most important way to fight spiritual warfare is through a lifestyle of prayer 
with God, which is more than just asking him for things, but communing with him at all 

Feel:  The desire to draw closer to God in all things

Do:  Reflect on the nature of your prayer life, characterize it and the effect it has on your 
relationship with God.  Identify ways to improve your prayer life.  

Text:  Eph 6:18-20

Scripture Reading:  Col 4:2-4

1.  John Ortberg tells story about antique shop
	a.  Priceless Ming vase on floor, value beyond calculating
		- Realizes owner not know it's value
		- Cat drinking milk out of it
		- Tries to come up with a plan
	b.  Offers to buy the cat, owner said no, keeps mice away
	c.  Man offers $100
		- Owner laughed, said cat not worth that much but accepted
		- Man then said needed something to feed cat with
		- Owner said no, that it was a priceless vase from Ming dynasty, 
		   value beyond calculating
	d.  Owner said - Funny thing though, since we have had that vase, we've 
	     sold 17 cats! 
2.  Sometimes we approach God that way trying to bargain to get stuff from him
	a.  Prayer is more than just asking God for things
	b.  This morning's text will deal with prayer
3.  Text not a new section, the words "pray at all time" and "be alert" are participles
	a.  Literally, it is "praying" and "being alert"
	b.  Continuation of the section on spiritual warfare
	c.  That Paul concludes with prayer shows that it is most important 
	     component of spiritual warfare
	d.  This is what I call the quiet warfare
4.  How should we pray?

I.  In the Spirit
	A.  Literally, it is, "praying every time in the Spirit."
		1.  Every time is singular
		2.  Emphasis not praying at all time
		3.  Emphasis is to pray in the Spirit every time
	B.  What does this mean?
		1.  Be under the Spirit's influence
			a.  (Eph 2:22) - Dwelling of God in the Spirit
			b.  (Eph 3:16-17) - Strengthened so Christ dwell in hearts
			c.  (Eph 5:18) - Be filled with the Spirit
		2.  Be in communion with God
			a.  (Rom 8:5-8) - Mind on things of the Spirit
			b.  (Rom 8:15) - Cry out to God as "Abba" Father
				- Not just "God" or "Almighty God"
				- "Abba" a term children use for "Dad"
			c.  (Rom 8:25-27) - Pray without words
	C.  Implies an intense intimacy
		1.  There are certain words or phrases that say so much more
			a.  One example is "pickles and peanut butter"
			b.  Comes from a time I wasn't listening to her
				- She spoke of learning to sew
				- I was reading, and nodding
				- Said she would sew with pickles and peanut butter
				- When I answered yes, she knew I wasn't listening
			c.  That's just one example, there are others like that
		2.  But then there are those silent looks she gives me
			a.  She says volumes without ever speaking a word
			b.  She can communicate love or displeasure
		3.  The reason this is possible is because of our relationship
			a.  You can't communicate with me the way she does
			b.  You can't commune with me the way she does
4.  This communion is what praying in the Spirit is all about
	D.  Implications for how we pray
		1.  Praying is not just rattling off a wish list
		2.  Praying in the Spirit is not being self-centered by God centered
		3.  All of life is to be a constant prayer
			a.  All of life is not quiet time
			b.  But all of life is communion with God

II.  With Alertness
	A.  Need to be alert that there are temptations all around
		1.  Not just temptations to commit a blatant transgression
		2.  Temptations to get involved in "stuff"
			a.  They seem harmless
			b.  The problems is when you focus on them and forget God
		3.  Doesn't mean you need to stop your activities
		4.  God has sent us into the world
			a.  Just remember the goal is not to become like the world
			b.  The goal is to transform the world into godlikeness
			c.  Prayer must be the foundation of this effort
	B.  Prayer is part of how you stay focused on God
		1.  Even Jesus, the son of God spent time in prayer
			a.  Jesus would go to the mountain to pray, Mt 14:22
			b.  Jesus prayed all night before choosing disciples, Lk 6:12
			c.  Jesus prayed before his crucifixion, Mt 26
			d.  Jesus was always alert in prayer
		2.  Jesus was always aware of the temptations that came his way
			a.  Not just in the desert, when the Devil tempted him
			b.  Lk 4:13 - the Devil left until an opportune time
			c.  When was an opportune time?  (Mt 16:21-23) in Peter!
			d.  Because Jesus was always alert in prayer, 
				he recognized Satan right away!
	C.  ILL:  C.S. Lewis - "The moment you wake up each morning, all your wishes and 
hopes for the day rush at you like wild animals. And the first job each morning consists in 
shoving it all back; in listening to that other voice, taking that other point of view, letting that 
other, larger, stronger, quieter life come flowing in."
		1.  There are many good things that can occupy us
		2.  Many good things that can crowd God out
		3.  (Luke 21:24-26) Don't let hearts be weighed down with 
		     drunkenness and worries of this life
	D.  We need to be alert in prayer from the time we wake up
		1.  If you walk away from God in the morning, you probably will not 
		     meet him throughout the day.
		2.  Prayer needs to be a lifestyle, not just a religious activity
		3.  What are your first thoughts in the morning?  Keep a pad and 
		     paper in the morning, and start writing it down. 

III.  With Awareness
	A.  Paul asked for prayers for himself
		1.  Remember where he is at -- prison
		2.  He didn't pray for release, for justice on his enemies, etc.
		3.  He prayed for boldness in sharing the Gospel
			a. This is what got him in prison
			b.  But that didn't stop him
		4.  Paul understood his purpose
			a.  Whether in prison, on the road, making tents
			b.  His purpose was to live and share the Gospel
	B.  Like Jesus, Paul's prayer life kept him focused.  2 prayers in Ephesians
		1.  (Eph 1:15-21) - Prayer for eyes of the heart
			a.  Talking about spiritual dimension
			b.  Don't misunderstand - Don't want to focus on the enemy
				- People fascinated with the demonic
				- Satan powerful, but key is not to focus on him
				- Reason Bible mentions him, to show God's 
				  superiority.  Satan always limited or defeated
			c.  Focus on God, as Paul does in this prayer
				- If want to grow deeper in marriage, you obsess on 
				  the adulteress, but on your spouse
				- If grow deeper, need to focus on him
		2.  (Eph 3:14-21) - Able to comprehend
			a.  Talking about loving our Lord, which is our purpose
			b.  Prayer will help you grow deeper in love with God
	C.  ILL:  Rachel Scott - From the book Rachel's Tears
		1.  She was the first one shot that day
			a.  They asked her if she believed in God, and shot her
			b.  Asked her second time, shot her in the head
		2.  Her parents read through her journals and published some 
			a.  Mom classified her as a mystic
			b.  Dad said she reached a level of spirituality most adults 
			     never do
		3.  She was not perfect, she struggled, but she also had a passion 
		     for God and a passion for showing his love an compassion
			a.  Some people made fun of her
			b.  She typically would reach out to the outsiders
			c.  She was unashamed of showing her love for God
		4.  Her journals reveal that she had a life of prayer
			a.  She wrote prayers to God, poems and reflections
			b.  She was brutally honest with God and herself
			c.  This kept her focused to the end
			d.  Even after her death, she continued to inspire people
	D.  A life of prayer will keep us aware of our purpose
		1.  Not to be comfortable, to fit in with the world, to accel in 
		     personal pursuits
		2.  Our purpose is to love God
		3.  Our purpose is to mature in our love, to minister to others, to 
		     carry out his mission
		4.  Has to start, continue and end with prayer

1.  Mark 1:32-38
	a.  Jesus had a good healing ministry, but walked away
	b.  There are times when the most important thing to do is pray
	c.  Kept Jesus focused on his purpose
2.  Have you started a life of communion with God?  (Invitation)
3.  When you become a Christian, remember that prayer is the most important thing - Everything 
else flows from prayer

Small Group Questions:  The Quiet Battle

Summary:  Paul gets more specific on the "way" to use the Spiritual armor.  It involves a lifestyle 
of prayer, which is more than just asking him for things, but communing with him.  I lifestyle of 
prayer means alertness to God's view on your surroundings, and understanding of our place and 
purpose in the world.

Open:  (choose one)
- What is the funniest prayer you have heard a child say?
- What is the first thing you do in the morning?

Explore:  Eph 6:10-20

1.  What relationship does prayer have with spiritual warfare?  How important is it and why?

2.  In what ways should Christians pray?

3.  What does Paul's other prayers in Ephesians tell you about prayer?  (Eph 1:15-21; 3:14-21)

4.  What does what Paul asks the Ephesians to pray for say about the nature of his relationship with 
God in 6:19-20?  (Remember that Paul is in prison)


5.  Spend some time reflecting on your prayer life.  How would you characterize or describe the nature 
of your prayer life?  

6.  What effect does your prayer life currently have on your life?

7.  Identify ways to improve your prayer life.  How would you like an improved or transformed prayer 
ife to change you?

Col 4:2-4