EVANGELISM & PRAYER Ephesians 6:19-20 Lars Wilhelmsson

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1 1 EVANGELISM & PRAYER Ephesians 6:19-20 Lars Wilhelmsson "You were not redeemed with perishable things like silver and gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ" (1 Pe 1:18-19). Spiritual Offensive Weapons "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places" (Eph 6:12). Paul also clearly explained this in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4: "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses." (Emphasis added). What is the offensive spiritual power available to Christians? P - R - A - Y - E - R! Two Kinds of Warfare Praying Ephesians 6:10-20 teaches there are two kinds of spiritual warfare praying defensive (verse 18) and offensive (verse 19 and 20). Jesus' Offensive War Today Satan has two sets of battle tactics one for unbelievers (to keep them captive in his kingdom) and a different one for Christians (to keep them ineffective in the spiritual battle of rescuing souls). Evangelism's Offensive Praying And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make know with boldness the mystery of the Gospel, for I am ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak (Eph 6:19-20). He asked for prayer for his offensive battle attack against Satan.

2 2 How Do We Pray Offensive Prayers for Souls? "Satan, you have deceived these people long enough. Jesus died for every person in this room, and you have no right to deceive them, Satan, I am claiming the blood and the name of Jesus against you. I command you to leave, because you cannot stand against Jesus' name and His blood!" Then turn to the Lord in prayer, asking Him please to save them every one. Responses PRE-EVANGELISM PRAYING Luke 8:11-12 There is much praying we need to do before we actually try to introduce people to Jesus. This is asking God to become involved before we do. It is the praying that makes lost people receptive to the Gospel and able to accept Jesus. Satan and the Gospel Seed In the parable of the sower Jesus gave us one of the reasons the gospel seed doesn't' bring forth fruit in unbelievers. "The seed is the Word of God. And those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the Word from their heart, so that they may not believe and be saved (Lk 8:11-12). Satan knows the power of the Word of God. In other words, when we share, preach, or teach the word of God, Satan is right there snatching up that seed. We must precede the sowing of the seed with intense prayer. We need to pray specifically that God will go ahead of the seed and prepare the hearts of those who will hear. Pray for them individually, by name if possible. Seeing the Light--Jesus The removing of the blinding of the mind results in "seeing the light." Second Corinthians 4:4 also says Satan blinds "that they (unbelievers) might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ." Satan is desperately trying to keep his captives from seeing the light of Jesus, so one of his main tactics is to blind them to the light of Jesus.

3 3 Praying for blind eyes is offensively demanding that Satan remove the blinders. We must claim the blood and name of Jesus against Satan and then ask God to bring the light of Jesus into them. What Can I Do? Methods of Pre-Evangelism Prayer souls: Here are some simple methods any Christian can use effectively in offensive praying for As an individual it is possible to set aside time to pray for those you, or others, are trying to reach for Jesus and then to pray specifically, faithfully by name for the to be released from Satan's captivity. Pre-evangelism praying before someone preaches and gives the invitation to accept Jesus in the Sunday morning service. There is great power in husband and wife teams praying for the lost. A very powerful tool for evangelism is church prayer groups. How simple, and rewarding, it is to add to our list of prayer requests those who are lost, pray by name for them week after week, and then have the joy of seeing them turn to Jesus. Transferred out of Satan's kingdom because we prayed! One of the most effective yet simplest, methods of pre-evangelism prayer is triplet praying. All it takes is three Christians willing to discipline themselves to pray every week for the salvation of people still captive in Satan's kingdom. Prayer partners Pre-seminar praying of committees Supernatural Battle We must be sure to claim the name and blood of Jesus against Satan while we are doing battle in this spiritual warfare for souls 2 Co 10:3-5). Defensive Praying Against Satan Ephesians 6:18 It is impossible for Christians to keep up their offensive warfare prayers for souls without defensive prayers for each other.

4 4 The armor of Ephesians 6 which Christians put on for our spiritual battle includes defensive prayer for each other. Defensive Praying Defensive Praying Provides the Power There is not way Christians can stand or advance in the battle with Satan, even when wearing the armor of God, without God providing the power. Our being able to resist the schemes of the devil requires more than human strength and sheer determination. Amazingly, prayer is the part of the armor of Ephesians 6 we usually omit! And we stand, all dressed up in our armor. 1. Snare of the Devil. Satan's Tactics and God's Answers Jesus? What, or who, is causing them to lose their reputations, thus making them ineffective for And he (overseer of the church) must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil (1 Ti 3:7). What should we pray? Before praying, we should address Satan, demanding that he stop attacking Christian leaders. We then pray for God to cancel the effectiveness of those satanic prayers. 2. Conceit and Falling into Condemnation. The Bible also gives a warning about immature leaders and the devil: "Lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil" (1 Ti 3:6). What should we pray? Before praying we should address Satan and claim the blood of Jesus against him in that person's life, demanding that "in the name of Jesus" he leave that leader. (Rev 12:11). We should pray asking God to keep them alert to the pitfalls according to 1 Corinthians 10:12: "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall." 3. Fear. Another tactic of Satan against Christians is fear. "But God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love and power and a sound mind. (2 Ti 1:7, KJV)

5 5 What should we pray? Pray that all Christians who feel any degree of fear of Satan would get a firm hold on and unequivocally believe "Greater is He [Jesus] who is in you that he [Satan] who is in the world" (1 Jn 4:4) 4. Accusing the Brethren. Satan also is the accuser of the brethren. 5. Tempting Christians to Sin. One of Satan's main tactics in the spiritual battle is tempting Christians to sin, thus making them ineffective warriors against him. "I also sent to find out about your faith, for fear that the tempter [Satan] might have tempted you, and our labor should be in vain (1 Th 3:5). What should we pray for Christians being tempted? First, tell Satan to get out. Then thank Jesus that He understands, and ask Him to come to their aid. Next, a good Scripture to pray for them in their part in Satan's temptations is what Jesus told His sleeping disciples during His agony in Gethsemane: "Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mt 26:41). What to pray for them? First, we pray thanking Jesus that in Him captives are set free. Then we address Satan that, since Jesus on the cross accomplished setting those captives free, Satan has no right to bind them in his yoke of slavery again (Gal 5:1). 7. Thwarting Christians in Ministry. The word "thwart" means "putting something on the road or breaking up the road in front of the travelers." What to pray when this happens today? We have a promise in James 4:7 that we can claim whenever Satan tries to hinder and thwart our activities: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). 8. Prowling like a Roaring Lion. Another tactic of Satan is to prowl around like a roaring lion trying to find some Christian to devour. He is not prowling for those already in his kingdom. He is our adversary, not theirs. Be sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith. (1 Pe 5:8-9) What do we pray? We pray resisting him in the name of the blood of Jesus holding on unwaveringly in faith that Jesus is stronger than Satan.

6 6 9. Leading Minds Astray. This is a crafty tactic of Satan. Our minds are the battlefield of Satan. Most of his fiery darts land there, and by influencing our minds he controls us. "For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin. But I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds should be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ (2 Co 11:2-3). What to pray? We must pray to bring every thought captive to Christ. "... and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (vv. 3-5). 10. Angel of Light Disguise. A very clever tactic of Satan is disguising himself as an angel of light in the form of false prophets: "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan himself disguises himself as an angel of light (vv ). Second Timothy 4:3 tells us that the time will come and obviously it is here now when people will want their ears tickled. They actually will accumulate for themselves teachers who teach what they want, turning away from the truth. What to pray? First we need to ask God to give us a spirit of discernment so we won't be misled. And then we need to wield the Word of God the only real truth in prayer against these false teachers of Satan. We must claim the blood and name of Jesus and we must praise. 11. Deceit is another of Satan's tactics. He keeps us inactive in soul winning and ineffective in our witness for Jesus through constant bombardment with his lies. Jesus said, "For he [the devil] is a liar and the father of lies" (Jn 8:44). Not only does he lie to those in his kingdom to keep them there, but he deceives Christians into believing his lies and lying themselves. It was Satan who filled Ananias' heart to lie to the Holy Spirit (Ac 5:3). So, what do we pray? After rebuking Satan, we can pray Colossians 1:9 for them: "We have not ceased to pray for you that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding." 12. Satanic Oppression. Another tactic of Satan is oppressing people. He knows in what condition we are useless in the spiritual battle for lost souls. Peter gave us these encouraging words about being oppressed by the devil: "You know of Jesus of Nazareth... how He went about doing good, and healing all who were oppressed of the devil" (Ac10:38).

7 7 When we sense supernatural danger we should pray for the protection of God's angels for one another. Hedge of Protection. The Bible also speaks of a hedge of protection, "Hast Thou not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side?" (Job 1:10) In our spiritual battle with Satan, we can pray for God to provide a hedge, to protect believers from Satan's onslaught and temptations. Victory Over Satan's Demons "And these signs will accompany those who have believed; in my name they will cast out demons (Mk 16:17) Victory! Don't worry about getting the perfect Scripture to resist Satan. Get a few well in hand and use them! Pick up your Sword of the spirit, the Word of God, then practice wielding it against our arch enemy Satan. There is victory!

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