Ephesians 6:18-20 – Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints
We have looked closely at the different parts of the armor of God, its purpose and application, and the fact that they are an absolutely essential part of surviving and winning our war against Satan. However, right on the heels of his description of the armor of God, Paul adds that we should be praying always with all prayer. Why?
Barnes’ Notes comments, “No matter how complete the armor; no matter how skilled we may be in the science of war; no matter how courageous we may be, we may be certain that without prayer we shall be defeated. God alone can give the victory; and when the Christian soldier goes forth armed completely for the spiritual conflict, if he looks to God by prayer, he may be sure of a triumph.” Prayer is key to the use of spiritual strength and the armor of God. As we equip ourselves with God’s armor, we must also be determined to keep a steady connection with Him, our Commander, who alone knows how to lead us to victory.
The soldier isn’t only concerned for his or her own safety but protects and battles on behalf of others. We battle spiritually each day, not just on our own behalf but also on the behalf of others. We pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17-18). Prayer upon prayer. Prayer of all kinds – group prayer, individual prayer, silent prayer, walking prayer, kneeling prayer, eloquent prayer, groaning prayer, constant prayer, fervent prayer – just pray.
A prayerless Christian can wear all the pieces of the armor but will accomplish nothing because of the failure to go into battle through prayer. Prayer is the medium through which the spiritual strength and the armor of God of a Christian are activated. Often, we don’t pray because we are overconfident in our own ability. Winston Churchill said, “I must drop one word of caution, for next to cowardice and treachery, overconfidence leading to neglect and slothfulness, is the worst of wartime crimes.” We need to beware!
So what is stopping us from praying today?
- Buying into the lies and myths of the world – let us be battle-ready and gird ourselves with the truth of God’s Word.
- Temptations – may we choose to engage with the Scriptures regularly, to guard our hearts with the righteousness that is ours through Christ alone.
- Family feuds, job insecurity, betrayal by friends, health challenges, various schemes of the devil that rob us of our peace? – We advance onto the battlefield unafraid, obedient to our marching orders as we carry with us the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We march together as the Church, through the worries of the world
- Lacking the ‘feeling’, lack of confidence – we take up and hold up our shield of faith, band together in fellowship with other believers
- Discouragement and doubts about our salvation and forgiveness in Christ – we need to ensure that our essential protection of the helmet of salvation is firmly in place, which will make it hard to stay discouraged.
- Lacking knowledge and direction – may we boldly wield our sword, the Word of God, confident in Him, and fight.
“Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.” – E. M. Bounds
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” – Martin Luther
“I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.” – Mother Teresa
“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.” – D. L. Moody
Lord may prayer increasingly be my first response to every situation, I pray.