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Praying Through our Weakness

This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today 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 the evil one.” MATTHEW 6:9-13 NIV

Jesus teaches us to pray so that we see our real enemy

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. EPHESIANS 6:12 NIV

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

What God uses as a test, Satan uses as a temptation

Jesus teaches us to pray our weaknesses

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. HEBREWS 4:15-16 NIV

Jesus teaches us to pray for his power

…but deliver us from the evil one. MATTHEW 6:13b NIV

How do we experience his power?

Remember what Christ has done

Having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. COLOSSIANS 2:14-15 NIV

Remain in Christ

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. EPHESIANS 6:10-11 NIV

My Notes

Personal Reflection Guide

Take a few moments to slow down, releasing any burdens from the day. As you do, invite God into this time, asking him to help you be real with yourself and him. As you consider the reality that Satan is our true enemy (not others, not circumstances, not ideologies), how can this truth help grow your dependence on God? Next, ask God to reveal any areas where Satan might be tempting you today. Oftentimes, these temptations reveal a good desire in our heart that we have tried to take control of instead of surrendering that place to God. What is that place in your heart that needs God’s healing? How can God show his goodness to you as you learn to trust him more in that area? Write down your reflections in the space below, sharing with your group if you feel comfortable. Be intentional about spending time with that question, asking God to reveal more of these “heart places” throughout the coming week, writing them down as you become aware.

Discussion Questions

  1. PERSONAL REFLECTION: Begin group time by completing the Personal Reflection Guide, (link found on the top of sermon notes). Use this time to examine any areas of your heart that are drawn to temptation. (Tip: playing some soft background music is helpful here!)
  2. REAL WITH SELF: To what extent do you recognize that your struggle against sin (sinful thoughts, actions, and attitudes) is a spiritual war against Satan? How is this belief reflected in your thoughts, actions, and feelings?
  3. REAL WITH SELF: Just because the enemy came to steal, kill and destroy, doesn’t mean he gets to. We can ask Jesus for that life that he gives. What lies do you need to be delivered from today? What is the enemy stealing from you?
  4. REAL WITH GOD: Through testing, God can show you who you are, and also shape you into who you can become. What character traits is God growing in you through any current testing you may be facing?
  5. REAL WITH OTHERS: Read Ephesians 6:12 NIV. How can this reality change the way you engage in hard topics by maintaining the perspective that the enemy isn’t the other person?
  6. TAKE ACTION: Do you recognize that whenever you come to church, sing praises, pray, serve someone, listen to someone’s story, immerse yourself in Scripture or share the Gospel with someone else, that you are “pushing back the powers of evil”? How does it make you feel to know that you are doing so? What practical steps can you take this week to engage in these types of things more regularly?