Praying for All the Saints
A Sermon on Ephesians 6:18-20
18With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be alert with all perseverance and every request for all the saints, 19and pray in my behalf, that speech may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to …
18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For …
The main emphasis of “praying for all the saints” is intercessory prayer. Why does this matter? In this sermon on Ephesians 6:18–20 titled “Praying for All the Saints,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones challenges all believers who engage in the same fight for faithfulness, sharing a common salvation, and fighting a common foe. This is why public worship is so important. Christians must recognize that they are not alone. This battle not only involves all Christians, but it is God’s battle. Intercessory prayer is significant because failure at any point in the ranks affects the whole army. Christians must think of themselves in terms of the church, not individualistically. Praying that everyone in their position will stand is the way to avoid discouragement. One of the great mysteries of the faith is that prayer actually works. God could do everything without His people, but He has elected them and chooses to work through them. Therefore they are dependent on the prayers of others, and He commands His people to pray for one another. Intercessory prayer is the sovereign remedy for introspection and a morbid self-concern. In light of this, Christians ought to pray for all preachers of the gospel to speak boldly and rightly— keeping nothing back of the truth, not fearing people, but relying on God.
- The apostle Paul ends his letter to the Ephesians by exhorting them to pray. This shows that prayer is the ultimate test and expression of the Christian life.
- Paul tells the Ephesians to pray for themselves, for boldness in proclaiming the gospel, and for others engaged in ministry. Intercessory prayer for other Christians is important because we face a common enemy and share in a common salvation. Failure or struggle in one part of the body of Christ affects the whole.
- Paul asks the Ephesians to pray for him, that God would give him boldness and freedom of speech to proclaim the gospel. Though Paul was not a naturally gifted speaker, he relied on the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Preachers today need prayer for boldness, to declare the whole counsel of God without fear of men or desire to please men. They need prayer to be delivered from a spirit of compromise and reliance on human diplomacy.
- Paul asks for prayer that he would speak boldly, yet also with love and compassion, as he ought to speak. He recognizes his own weaknesses and limitations, and relies on the power of God working through prayer.
- Paul sends greetings from Tychicus, whom he has sent to comfort and encourage the Ephesians. He prays peace, love, faith and grace upon all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.
The Book of Ephesians
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.