September 5: Protection through Prayer

Read Ephesians 6:10-20

We are engaged in an invisible battle.  Many of the difficulties, challenges, and opposition we experience in life have a root cause beyond that which we can see.  There are rulers, powers, and world forces that are not incarnate.  They do not don flesh and blood…although they can influence others.  They do not manifest themselves in the 3D world in which live…although their work impacts us.  We live, you see, in a world where the obvious, visible physical world intersects with the less obvious, invisible spiritual world.  And, even within this invisible spiritual world, righteous, angelic beings are at odds with wicked, demonic entities.  At times, we are caught in the cross hairs of this invisible battle.

For such a battle, we need a strength greater than our own.  It is a strength that comes from the Lord (v. 10).

For such a battle, we need protect that we cannot manufacture by ourselves.  It is the armor of God (vv. 11, 13).  The armor He makes available to us includes truth, righteousness, gospel witness, faith, salvation, and His eternal word (vv. 14-17).

While these are collectively described as having their source in God, you and I carry a responsibility of “being strong” (v. 10), “putting on” and “taking up” the armor (vv. 11, 13), and “standing firm” (v. 14).  Those are actions best initiated in the context of private spiritual disciplines.  In fact, I believe it is safe to say that:

We are best equipped for the invisible battle when we are steadfast in private disciplines.

It is no surprise that Paul ended this section on spiritual warfare by giving repeated, focused attention to the value of prayer.  Here it is stated once again:

“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. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”  (vv. 18-20)

Will you arm yourself for this invisible battle by engaging in the private discipline of prayer?