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,
(Ephesians 6:18 ESV)
Over the past few days we’ve studied the spiritual armor of God that He instructs each of His children to wear in our never-ending battle against Satan. We are told to stand firm when Satan attacks us [Ephesians 6:11, 14]. As we saw, every piece of armor is defensive in nature with the exception of Scripture which is our only offensive weapon.
However, there is still more we can do. We can be, and should be, praying. The word praying is a participle referring back to the verb “stand” in verse 14. Praying is part of the strategy of standing against Satan.
Too often we neglect prayer in the midst of spiritual warfare because we think we can handle some situation on our own. But that is never the case. Satan is much too powerful and smart for us. When we are confident in ourselves we are right where he wants us. Confidence in our own abilities is just another one of Satan’s lies.
At the outbreak of World War II Winston Churchill warned Britain “overconfidence… is the worst of wartime crimes.” One may be wearing the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, and the helmet of salvation and think they have all they need. But that isn’t true. We are to be confident, but not in ourselves. Prayer, if done properly, decreases our self-confidence and increases our reliance on God.
Just like a soldier wouldn’t go off into battle without getting a plan from his superior, neither should God’s children enter into spiritual warfare against Satan without being in communication with God at all times. We need to be constantly listening to God for His instructions. This is what it means to pray in the Spirit. We need to let God, through His Holy Spirit, guide us through the minefields Satan has laid before us.
Notice that, just like a soldier, we need to keep alert with all perseverance. Staying alert requires energy and commitment. Its easy to let our guard down because we are tired or think things are going well in our life. But that is exactly when the enemy will pounce.
For this reason it is important to know what our vulnerabilities are. Perhaps we are tempted to view pornography when we’re home alone. Or we are tempted to respond in-kind to a mean-spirited co-worker. We need to recognize these situations and use our spiritual armor and prayer to stand against them.
Finally, we must remember that we are not in this fight alone. Every one of God’s children (saints) are in His army too. We are all fighting our own individual battles against Satan. Everyone else may look like they have their life together, but they don’t. Therefore, not only should we be praying for ourselves but we should be making supplication for our fellow believers so that they, too, can stand against Satan’s artillery.
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