October Is A Month That Requires Prayer

October is considered by many Christians as one of the biggest spiritual warfare months of the year. Spiritual warfare often ramps up during this month because of the emphasis on haunted houses, horror movies, witchcraft, and other activities or events that promote fear, ungodliness, demonic stuff, etc. So, we tell our Staff and Leaders at Celebration that we have to strengthen our prayer life every October if we don’t want to be overcome by the works of the Devil and his followers.

One way to learn how to become a better prayer warrior is to study the prayers of great individuals in the Bible – people like the Apostle Paul. We find a number of Paul’s prayers in the New Testament, and one of those prayers is found in Ephesians 3:14-21 where Paul prayed for his friends in Ephesus when they seemingly were going through a very difficult time.

Paul prayed – “I pray that from His (God’s) glorious, unlimited resources He will give you mighty inner strength through His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. And may have you have the power to understand . . . how wide, how long, how high and how deep His love really is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is so great you will never understand it.  Then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” (Ephesians 3:16-19 NLT)

There are several things we can learn from Paul’s prayer. First, we can learn about one of the postures of prayer. Paul wrote in Ephesians 3:14 that he fell to his knees when he prayed for the Ephesian believers. We don’t have to kneel to pray, but it is a good way to help us focus and concentrate on the Lord and the intent of our prayers and to acknowledge our reverence for and dependence upon the Lord.  Abraham Lincoln once said, “I have often been driven to my knees in prayer by the realization that I had nowhere else to go.” D.L. Moody said, “The Christian on his knees sees more than the philosopher on his tiptoes.” Someone else wrote, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on his knees.”

We also learn from Paul’s prayer about the purpose of prayer. He prayed for encouragement and enablement for the Ephesian Christians – that they would receive “mighty inner strength” from the Holy Spirit. He prayed that those Christians would have fresh encounters with Jesus and new experiences with God’s love – “that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts” and “may your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love.” Paul also prayed that those believers would experience enrichment and empowerment in their lives – “then you will be filled with the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” If someone asked you what you would like for them to pray for in regards to you and your life circumstances, you would probably want them to pray for encouragement, enablement, new encounters with Jesus, enrichment, and empowerment for you and others around you.

Paul basically prayed for the Ephesians that they would be strengthened by God’s Spirit (Ephesians 3:16), submitted to God’s Son (Ephesians 3:17), and saturated by God’s love (Ephesians 3:17-19). We need to pray daily for those same three characteristics to continually be found in our lives and others’ lives.

Paul concluded this prayer with the following words in Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now glory be to God!  By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope.  May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever . . .” You see, all that we would want and pray for in regards to ourselves and others will never be experienced unless it is provided by God’s power and done for God’s glory. The Lord is “able” (Ephesians 3:20) to accomplish great works in our lives and others live beyond what we can imagine, but He will only manifest His power to accomplish those great works when our purpose is to bring Him (and Him alone) glory.

So, I want to encourage you to use Paul’s prayer as a guideline for your prayer time in the month of October. And as you pray; 1) Ask the Holy Spirit to help you examine your prayer life, and to show you how you can better pray for yourself and for others, 2) Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to be praying for others in your life, and 3) Start praying for others what the Lord has instructed you to pray, and pray that God’s power will be manifested and that the Lord will receive all glory, honor and praise.

Don’t miss the DIFFERENCE-MAKER’S CONFERENCE that will take place at Celebration on Airline on Saturday, October 15. This Saturday morning conference will encourage, equip and empower our Celebration Leaders, upcoming Leaders, and all who want to become real disciples of Jesus and difference-makers in the world. The conference will include uplifting worship sets, teaching in our general sessions by Pastor Mike Haman (Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge), helpful Ministry Training Break-out Sessions, and lots of fun and fellowship. The first general session on October 15 begins at 8:30 am, but breakfast will be available at 8:00 am (until 8:30 am). Child care will also be available throughout the Conference.

Our Difference-makers Conference will be a great time of encouragement, equipping, and empowerment. Be sure to plan to join us. You can register HERE.

Hurricane Ian Disaster Relief // click here to give

Having experienced our share our major hurricanes here in Southeast Louisiana, we want to provide our people with opportunities to help people in Southwest Florida whose homes and/or lives were negatively impacted by Hurricane Ian. If you want to serve on a Disaster Relief Team, contact Alex Brian at abrian@joinnoba.com, who is leading groups of Christians from New Orleans to help out in the damaged areas. If you want to give financially, you can do so by going to www.celebrationchurch.org/disasterrelief. We are grateful for the support we’ve received from others in times past and are grateful for the opportunity to serve and help the people of Southwest Florida who were victims of Hurricane Ian.

The TOUGH STUFF sermon series that we began last Sunday continues this Sunday (October 9). In this series, based on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 19-20, we’re learning from Jesus how to have stronger marriages live a satisfying life as a single adult, become a better parent, and much more. Plan to join us in the upcoming weeks, either in-person or online, as we learn how to become stronger and more effective followers of Jesus.

Pray for Vicki and I, Pastor Trevor and Lauren Truitt, and members of our Church who are down in Costa Rica doing missions work, training pastors, and helping our congregations in that nation. Pray that the Lord will use us to encourage, equip and empower our brothers and sisters in great ways, so their nation can be impacted for the cause of Christ.