2023 Sept 27 | How to Pray: Imitation


Inward Prayer

Small Group Questions:

    1. Ephesians 6 talks about putting on spiritual armour, why do you think prayer is the power that holds everything together?

    2. Why do you think knowing the enemy and knowing your authority matters in prayer?
    3. You have a significant role to play in welcoming the good purposes, promises and love of God into people, places and situations. Pick one person in your life that you will ask to pray with this week. Be bold. God will equip you.
    4. Since we are now finishing this series on prayer, what changes have you or will you make in your life?

Outward Prayer



Prayer starts by showing up, is most effective through listening and is our weapon empowered by the Holy Spirit.


Ephesians 6:10-12 & 18, 1 Peter 5:8


Over the past two weeks, we’ve looked at creating a thin place where we can meet with God and how to pray as we looked at the model of the Lord’s Prayer. But prayer doesn’t simply stop there. In today’s passage Ephesians 6, the author Paul encourages us not to simply pray prayers that are meek and mild, but rather with prayers that are forceful, assertive, and with authority. Martin Luther, who sparked the protestant reformation, once said this about prayer: “We must all practice violence and remember that he who prays is fighting against the devil and the flesh… Satan is opposed to the church… the best thing we can do, therefore, is to put our fists together and pray.”

When we talk about this type of prayer the Bible refers to it as Spiritual Warfare. Spiritual warfare tends not to be meek and mild, but forceful, assertive, and authoritative. It is sometimes accompanied by fasting and generally requires perseverance and careful spiritual discernment. There are three things you really need to know to be effective in this kind of prayer:

Know your enemy

Know your authority

Know how to fight

Know Your ENEMY:

Sometimes the talk of Satan, demons, fallen angels, and apocalyptic battles between cosmic forces of light and darkness will sound ridiculous to some and like a plot from a Marvel Movie to others. In Canada, we have, for the most part, replaced biblical cosmology with humanistic physiology, sociology, and anthropology. Every bad thing, every sin is attributed to some sort of societal or clinical cause. BUT… even in our supposed sophistication, we remain aware that there is evil in our world. Pastor, theologian, and scholar NT Wright writes: “When human beings worship that which is not God, they give authority to forces of destruction and malevolence, and those forces gain power.”

This is why Ephesians 6 warns us against the real struggles:

1. The Bible does indeed teach that there are spiritual powers at work in our world, affecting organizations and cultures as well as individuals.

2. As citizens of heaven and followers of Jesus, we must exercise great discernment so that we can stand against those powers.

Know Your Authority:

In the same letter to the Ephesians Paul reminds the church that: 

God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all.” Eph 1:20 (The Message)

Having cast this awesome vision of Jesus and his authority, Paul tells the Ephesians something utterly astounding. He says that those who are in Christ, a term he uses 164 times instead of “Christian”… are right up with Jesus, as God “picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus.” Ephesians 2:6. Isn’t that MIND-BLOWING?! You and I have been seated with Christ, which means when we pray, we don’t just plead for mercy from the midst of the mess, but rather, we exercise authority from above, as those seated with Christ. We don’t have to roll over helplessly and submit to Satan’s schemes, because we are sons and daughters of the King, commissioned to rule and reign by his side. “In prayer, we are learning to rule and reign with Christ.” Pete Greig.

Know How to Fight:

To engage in effective spiritual warfare, we need to know our enemy and our authority, but we also need to know how to fight. There are three questions you should always ask when confronting any kind of conflict in prayer:

1. Diagnosis: What is the enemy’s strategy against this person or place?

To answer these questions simply use some common sense (it’s often quite obvious) or ask God for wisdom (not all bad things that happen are necessarily demonic) and spiritual discernment (Satan can be a convincing liar).

2. Prognosis: Having diagnosed the problem, ask yourself, What might God’s better plan be for this person or place?

To answer this question you need to carefully listen to the Bible and the promises of God, as well as intuitions you may receive from the Holy Spirit (which must align with the Bible and God’s character).

3. Prescription: Having discerned what Satan is trying to do and what God wants to do, ask yourself, What can I now do, both prayerfully and practically, to crush Satan’s plan and to welcome God’s better purposes into this person, place, or situation?


As you prepare the core of the message using personal story and questions keep in mind these points:

  • Prayer is a two-sided coin. On one side lies the private, thin place where you daily meet with God. Growing close in intimacy, and learning how to hear his voice. The other side is the response out of the thin place where we ready ourselves to fight against the enemy’s plans to kill, steal and destroy.
  • Know your enemy, know you have authority because God has raised you up to sit with Christ. Know that you have a significant role to play in welcoming the good purposes, promises, and love of God into people, places, and situations.


As you prepare the application, challenge and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:

  • Ask God in your private prayer life where he wants you to pray publicly.
  • Think of someone in your life who needs the power of prayer. Ask to pray for them in the authority Jesus has given you. (Diagnosis, Prognosis, Prescription)