Well, here we are in the last post of the blog mini-series, “This Is How We Fight Our Battles.” I realize these posts are long. You are rock stars! I pray you are getting something out of these posts based on the Armor of God. I’m grateful for the reminder of how God equips us for this life on earth.
We’ve learned about this strength we have in the Lord, his vast strength. We’ve learned about our new, shiny outfit, the Armor of God, to put on and never take off. We’ve learned what each piece represents as we defend the attacks of the enemy. We also learned that we have an offensive weapon, the sword of the Spirit, which is what? The one and only, God-inspired and God-breathed, true Word of God. The more we saturate our minds and hearts with the Word of God, the better equipped we are to fight the battles of the devil’s lies and schemes. We are ready and armed so we don’t fall into the trap of distraction from Jesus and his plan and purpose for us.
How does this Armor of God work together? What glues them together? Each piece of our armor suit and even the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, doesn’t help us much, unless we have one imperative tool or weapon. Prayer. The Apostle Paul instructs us to be “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak” (Ephesians 6:18-20). What does prayer have to do with the Armor of God? These weapons of warfare that we possess and put on, are only powerful if they are truly rooted in prayer. As Christians, prayer is the high-octane, most powerful resource. Why? Because we are to pray in the Spirit. The Spirit is the coequal, coeternal partner with the Father and the Son. The Spirit that fills and governs our soul. THE source of our power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.
Prayer is divine conversation with the God of the universe, the creator of all things and beings. We pray to our Abba Father, the one in control of things here on earth, as well as in heaven. Does this sound daunting to you? This God. He is mighty and powerful. He is all-knowing, all-seeing, and always present. He’s not scary. Our God is very approachable. We can approach him with our needs, wants, joy, sorrow, worry, insecurity; basically anything we have on our heart and mind. God created us for relationship with him and his Son, Jesus. We worship him in big ways, as our God Almighty, and we worship him in simple and small ways too. He is there for it all, Sister.
Paul tells us to pray at all times. The last time I checked, all really does mean “all.” We are to pray when we wake, when we’re getting ready in the mornings for work or whatever our day holds for us. We are to pray while making lunches for the kids, while we’re in the carpool lane or in the fast lane on the freeway. We are to pray in the evenings and before we lay our head on the pillow each night. Pray. At. All. Times. Paul mentions four specific times we should be praying in the passage above. We already covered “at all times.” I don’t know how to explain it any better than that. One thing that is such a privilege to us now, compared to the early days, is that we can pray from anywhere, any time. We don’t have to have this picture in our head that we can only pay kneeling at our bedside, or that we can only pray on Sundays sitting in the pews in the church. We get to pray any way we want, anywhere we want (Yes, Journey just popped into my head, “Any way you want it, that’s the way you need it, any way you want it…”). We can pray silently, we can pray loudly, or we can write out our prayers in a journal. Whatever floats your boat, darlin’.
The second of the four times Paul tells us to pray is “with all prayer and supplication” (v. 18). Now that we know what “all” means, what is supplication? Some of your Bibles may read “petition.” This simply means we can ask God, we can beg God, earnestly and humbly, to meet our needs. We petition him to help us in our extreme poverty. Our needs include our essentials for living, like food and a roof over our head. We also “entreat” God to do something or treat (someone) in a specific manner, according to his will, in our times of anxiety, worry, or fear. Through our prayers, we surrender all to God. Even when it’s difficult to do, we can tell God it’s difficult, we can ask for his help in the surrender.
As we’re praying, we’re trusting God and His Spirit to pump us up for battle; but there’s also something we need to do too. We need to “keep alert in with all perseverance,” the second aspect of the universal prayer practice for Christians. So, we have our armor on, with our shield in one hand and the Word of God in the other. Do we just chill, lay down, wait, or take a nap? No way. We are to keep awake, be on guard, and keep watch. We need to be attentive and ready. We need to pay attention to our surroundings. We need to pay attention to what fills our minds. As we’re keeping our eyes open, we need to protect what our eyes are seeing and what we are listening to around us, we need to guard our ears in what we’re hearing. The enemy is a sly little booger, have you noticed? He will do anything, any way he can to get into your heart, mind, and soul, even in the simplest and seemingly innocent ways. So, we are to be alert.
As we keep our eyes peeled and alert, we are to do it with “all perseverance” (v. 18). We are to be persistent in the reading, meditating, and living out the Word of God. We are to be persistent in our prayers, despite difficulty and without delay. This is perseverance. Jesus tells us in The Parable of the Persistent Widow that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart,” just as the widow pleaded with the judge (Luke 18:1). In our difficulty with prayer, when or if we’re not sure what to pray, we can be assured that the Holy Spirit is interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:26). Because, he is that powerful. He is that in tune with us when we posture our hearts toward the Spirit.
The beauty in this, as we pray in our battlefields, we also have the privilege of standing in and interceding in prayer for others, “for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). I don’t know about you, but I feel stronger and able to fight when I have my tribe or loved ones praying for me and with me. And it is an honor to pray for others as well. Paul continues to call us to a lifestyle of constant prayer, to “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful…At the same time, pray also for us…” (Colossians 4:2-3). How are you at asking others to pray for you? Do ya do it?
Are you praying at all times? Are you praying with persistence and perseverance, in the times when things are going all hunky dory as well as the times you find yourself in the midst of struggle and difficulty? How can you use prayer as the ultimate force behind your suit of armor, with that shield you’re holding in your hand, and with your Sword, the Word of God, in the other? How can you remind yourself to “put on” your flashy armor of God? How can you make sure to be “alert” and “ready” for what may come after you?
Friends, I pray you wear that suit of armor with pride and confidence. I pray you pray fervently and boldly, at all times. I pray you believe, deep down, the strength you have in yourself, is the same strength that is in the Lord. His vast strength. You are a warrior, Sister. Our mighty and powerful God hears your battle cries. Make ’em known. May you stand strong and firm in Christ, the truth, righteousness, the gospel, faith, salvation, and the Word of God.
Get it Girl.
Hugging you so tight,