There is no doubt that the devil is real, with an army of his own, always scheming, seeking to break the bond between our Father in Heaven and us, His children. The entire Bible is the manual for Christians providing instructions on how we are to live, who we are in Christ and includes many examples of the reality of the enemy and spiritual warfare. However, one of my favorite images, that seems to best illustrate what is required in preparation for battle, is found in this description in Ephesians: “Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand firm against the devil’s schemes.”
We all know the various pieces involved and their essential role, but perhaps an additional, less obvious tactical method, is the point we need to focus on at this time. Historically, putting on armor required help from another. It is understanding the role of this aspect that will serve us well as we move forward from our fasting and praying time, toward getting ready to take on the truth of what God has for us as a body, while being alert to the fact that we will have opposition as we obediently respond. Practically, we have seen in the scriptures that serving one another in loving support manifests itself in a variety of different ways from giving financially, to expressing compassion and authentic love, to service, to forgiving one another. In these verses in Ephesians however, the Lord reminds us of yet another piece in our repertoire that we are to practice faithfully in order to lovingly help one another stand firm.
“…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 saints. Pray also for me…that I may declare (the gospel) fearlessly…” (Ephesians 6:18-20).
I confess that sometimes, more often than I like to admit, my prayer life is more about personal issues than it is for the body as a whole. But as I have spent many hours in the scriptures this month, I cannot ignore one of the most basic commands that to love God with all of my heart, soul and mind (which should then be reflected in my love for others), means always exercising the power of prayer to support and protect all of you. Forgive me for being lax in this area.
Shall we commit to one another, bound as one by the blood of Christ and in one Spirit, to lift each other up in prayer? Will you speak this prayer with me?
To Him “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is within us…that He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith...that you would have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God,”
To Him be the glory…Amen.