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In times of spiritual warfare, a soldier must be dressed in full spiritual armor. {Photo credit: (c) Dale Gillard, 2008 via Creative Commons}

 

Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. – Eph 6:11

 

{This post is Part 5 of a series entitled, “Staying Connected: The Power of Prayer}

 

Waging a Spiritual War…

Have you ever noticed how, the moment you decide to step up your spiritual game, random things start to happen to derail your plans?

… Maybe you finally decided to join the church choir, after prodding from your friends, only to have your boss change your shift to rehearsal night.

… Or, perhaps, you and your spouse go to a couples retreat, and have an awesome time, then argue all the way home in the car.

… It might be that you begin family Bible study on Saturday, only to have the school call you to tell you your child is acting up, on Monday.

As people of God, we are at war in the spiritual realm, so when we make spiritual steps forward, the rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms step up to meet us (Eph 6: 12). Paul tells us to prepare ourselves, and put on our whole armor, in his letter to the Church in Ephesus.

Do you have YOUR armor on?

 

Hearts for Home Blog Hop
{This post was part of the Hearts for Home Blog Hop, 2/5/2015}

 

What is the “Whole Armor” of God?

Let’s look at the whole armor of God, as described by Paul:

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How do soldiers prepare for battle? {Photo credit: (c) Kim M. Bennett, 2012}

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” {Eph 6:10-17}

For those of you who like bulleted lists, here goes, in the order you would put on Roman armor:

  • Belt (of truth)
  • Breastplate (of righteousness)
  • Shoes (readiness to share the gospel of peace)
  • Shield (of faith)
  • Helmet (of salvation)
  • Sword (the Word of God)

My pastor, Howard Daniel, Sr., of The Upper Room Christian Center (Connecticut) shared a great illustration of the power of the shield of faith (entitled, “Don’t Lose It… Use It!”), evoking images of the battle between the Spartans and the Persians in the epic film, 300 – if you haven’t seen the movie, you really should! It will help you understand Paul’s analogy in the scripture, above. The armor described above protected the Spartans from the massive army of the Persians, whom they eventually defeated.

But wait, there’s one more piece…

 

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Prayer – our weapon against the enemy. {Photo credit: (c) sweetenough 2011 via Creative Commons}

 

Prayer – Your “Offensive” Weapon

There is one more verse to this passage:

 

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. {Eph 6:18}

 

We have already seen that the armor described in verses 13-17 covers our bodies, hides us from harm by the enemy, and protects us from his weapons, allowing us to face him and stand. But what about the prayer mentioned in verse 18?

With the armor in verses 13-17, we are hidden from the view of the enemy. Unless we turn around and show our only exposed parts – our backs – the enemy can’t hurt or even see us. That’s where the prayer part comes in. When we pray, not only can the enemy NOT tell that we are who we are, but we actually sound like the One to Whom even Satan’s knee must bow: Jesus, Himself!

If we are in a battle against spirit forces, when should we pray? Paul told the Thessalonians to simply “Pray constantly” {1 Thess 5:17}. And the scripture in this section says what we should be praying for: all God’s people {Eph 6:18}. Put all together, this tells us that, once we are suited up for battle, the only weapon we are supposed to use in battling the enemy is our effectual, fervent prayer on behalf of the people of God. That means…

  • Your mate…
  • Your children…
  • Your pastor…
  • The backslider…
  • The fallen man or woman of God…
  • The newcomer in Christ…
  • The missionary that labors in a far-away land…
  • The neighbor you don’t like…
  • The opposer who (with God’s grace) might be the next kingdom worker…

All of God’s children. All the time.

You see, the enemy is already defeated. We don’t need to vanquish him – God’s already done that, through Jesus Christ. BUT we do need to bring the people of God in unity against him, and keep one another protected from his wiles. We have dominion – let’s use it!

 

Proof of Prayer as a Weapon of Warfare

Here is an incredible example of how the people of God united to claim dominion over the elements, in the name of Jesus, and caused a miracle to occur before our very eyes:

 

 

Now ask yourself these questions:

  • Did they have on the whole armor of God? How do you know?
  • How did they pray?
  • Did it work?
  • What did they do then?

Time for an Armor Check

Look at the list…

Did you put on your whole armor first thing this morning? Is prayer how you began your day? Come on, Soldier – it’s time for battle!

For more on prayer – see the other posts in this series, “Staying Connected: The Power of Prayer:”

 

 

 

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