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Live with Vitality!

Vitality? Your Strength lies in your Connection. Ephesians 6.18 I would like to give you a gift. It is an invitation. It is connection. It is relationship. It is vital. What is it? Stay with me . . . Getting our bearings here, we are nearing the end of Paul’s powerful letter he wrote to the people of Ephesus. Mind you, Paul was writing out of his love for them, and could picture many a face as he wrote, having been with them more than three years. He wanted his friends and fellow believers to remember what he had taught them; he also wanted to equip them with what they would need to live a life of faith in Christ in a hostile world - a world which could be compared to ours in some ways today. Having just explained what oft assailed them – not what met the eye necessarily – but who was behind it, the evil one, he had carefully explained what they possessed, what they had at the ready to stand strong in their faith in God, their salvation already provided for by Christ. Indeed, he told them to put on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God. Having donned the armor of God, Paul tells us to Pray at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication– [supplication indicates urgency + humility + earnestness] ---->Prayer will empower you to be a vital force every single day. As Scripture is not just black marks on a white page, prayer is not just words that evaporate into nothingness. We pray because we believe! We pray with fervency and in faith that our God hears … and that he answers … and that indeed, prayer changes things. Prayer is enabled and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Simply, praying in the Spirit may be understood as praying in the power of the Spirit, by the leading of the Spirit and according to God’s will. Earlier, Paul had written to the Romans, “the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”1 Jesus invites us into what he also enjoyed – connection with the Father through prayer. Communicating with the Lord grows our relationship with him. [We all know that relationships languish without communication – so it is with God.] Prayer brings the very armor of God to life! Do you want to live a vital life? ->Open your day with prayer – a set-aside time of prayer: you, God, some quiet. For in this lies your power—connection to an Almighty God, relationship with Almighty God. ->Continue your dialog with him throughout the day; why, there is no thing or no one you encounter today that God does not care about! And in fact, consider this profound claim: “There's not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ, who is Lord over all, does not exclaim, 'Mine'!”2 ->And draw down on matters of great significance—for salvation of loved ones, for healing, for wisdom, for our own steadfastness in a culture that is quickly trending toward godlessness, for the strength to stand strong in God no matter what comes our way. No one wakes up and thinks, 'hmmm, today I will be mediocre, today I choose to be the flimflam man, never sure about anything; today I choose to live a ho-hum life...' no one thinks that necessarily, but by not intentionally strengthening our connection to God, by not flexing our faith muscles, by not spending time talking with God, we simply default to less power in our daily lives. Hot off the presses: Always Only Jesus-, Mercy Me I INVITE YOU TO LIVE A VITAL LIFE, Christine 1 – Romans 8.26, ESV 2 – Abraham Kuyper, 19th century Dutch prime minister, theologian, and journalist. (That combination alone ought garner our attention)

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