Pray Always

“Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.” Ephesians 6:18

I believe that very little changes in the Kingdom of God without prayer. I know that Satan does not like us to pray. He know that when we pray, we can defeat him and all of his demons that are trying to defeat us. It seems that very few people really want to pray. We can find any reason for not praying. I have had more people tell me that they don’t want to come to a prayer meeting, I can just pray at home. Do you pray at home? I am not judging, but I know that Satan can allow me to find a hundred reasons for not praying. There has never been a move of God that was not first started by someone praying and seeking God for revival. Praying is a habit we all need to have. You can pray anywhere at any time. You can pray as you work, as you drive, as you walk. We need to be in a constant state of prayer. Maybe we need to be in prayer rather than playing with our phones. I know a man that is a guard at a bank. He told me that God has called him to pray for everyone that walks through the door. He doesn’t tell anyone; he just prays. Maybe we need to, as we are sitting in a public place, pray for the people around us. If you have lost love ones, never stop praying for them. God is working when we don’t see the results.

“Non-praying is lawlessness, discord, anarchy. Prayer, in the moral government of God, is as strong and far reaching as the law of gravitation to hold things in their proper atmosphere and in life.” (Leonard Ravenhill)

The Sword of the Spirit

“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

The Sword of the Spirit is God’s Word, the Bible. I believe that this is one of our most important weapons that we use again Satan and his attacks. The Bible is so powerful and it gives us the truth that we need to fight Satan. Before I was a Christian, I could not understand God’s Word, but when the Holy Spirit came into my life, the Word became so important. I could not get enough of God’s Word and what He was telling me. As we use the Word, the Holy Spirit gives us the right Words to use and how to use that Word.

A soldier in training practices his sword thrusts and moves and positions. He must practice them ahead of time if he is to know how to us them when it is time to battle. If he has practiced his moves enough, at the time of the battle he will know what to do and which move he needs to use. This is why we need to stay in God’s Word so that when the enemy strikes, we can defend ourselves with God’s powerful Word. Jesus told us that we are to live by God’s Word, “People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4) When Jesus was tempted by Satan He used the Word of God to defend Himself.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” (Hebrews 4:12)

The Helmet of Salvation

“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17

In the ancient world, this helmet was a leather cap studded with metal for extra strength. This is protection for our brains so that we have the hope of salvation. Where does Satan try to attack us first? In our thoughts. Jesus tells us that sin starts in our minds, so this is where Satan wants to tempt you first. “But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) This is why we must protect our heads with our helmet of salvation.

“But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.” (1 Thessalonians 5:8) This is our hope, our salvation. It protects the Christian from dangerous or deadly impressions of sin. It defends the Christian because it is hard for temptation to snare a person who is satisfied with the hope of salvation and their walk with God. Whoever wears the helmet of salvation will have the boldness to tell others about Jesus because they know where their hope is and they want others to know this hope of salvation.
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Shield of Faith

“In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.” Ephesians 6:16

The first three pieces of armor are so we can stand when we are being attacked. These are the pieces of armor that we must wear all the time. These last pieces are the armor that we take up from situation to situation. Some of these situations are: when we become discouraged or depressed. When everything feels like a black cloud. When there is opposition to what you feel that God wants you to do. When you are in a sense of panic and helplessness. These are the times you need the shield of faith. This faith is for the times that Satan wants to weaken you through fear and unbelief.

The shield that Paul is talking about is not a small shield but a large shield. In battle the enemy would launch fiery arrows so you would be confused and it would make you panic. This is what Satan does to us; he sends his arrows at us in our thoughts, feelings, imagination, and lies. This is the only weapons that Satan has. He has no power over us as Christians if we have the faith that God will protect us from all that Satan throws at us. “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promises.” (Hebrews 10:23) We hold tight our faith because of Jesus Christ. “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” (Hebrews 12:2)

The Shoes of Peace

“For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared.” Ephesians 6:15

If our feet hurt, we hurt all over. Having a shoe that fits well and has support is so critical. Our feet are our foundation. If our foundation is weak, we cannot stand for long. We need to prepare our foundation with the Good News of the Gospel. If we have the Gospel, we have the peace of God in our lives. The shoes that the Roman soldiers wore into battler were thickly studded with nails so that they would have a good grip when they were in battle. The success of Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were in large part to the army being well shod and able to undertake long matches at incredible speed over rough terrain. To win this battle we are fighting with Satan, we need to be able to stand against all of his advancements. We must have the peace of God in our lives if we are to fight the good fight. This peace comes from complete surrender to God. Letting God control our life. This comes by seeking God first. “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” (Matthew 6:33) This is where our peace comes from.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7) Our God reigns and we can stand always with Him.

God’s Righteousness

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14

This armor is the protection for our body. It is the righteousness of God. It is not our righteousness, because we have no righteousness without God. This righteousness is the righteousness that we receives from God by our faith in Jesus Christ.

A stab wound is more deadly where the vital organs of man are close together; than other parts farther from the heart. A person may survive an injury in the arm or leg, but a wound to the heart is certain death. This righteousness and holiness preserve the main part of the Christian, his soul and conscience. We are sometime tempted to say to Satan, “look at all I have done for God,” but this is the time that we are in danger of falling. This righteousness of God’s keep us from thinking that we can do anything without God. God’s righteousness and holiness are our protection from the wounds that are inflicted by sin.

This righteousness is what gives us the courage to face life dangers and death, “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” (Proverbs 28:1) Without God’s righteousness, we are like Adam and we run from God because we feel that we are naked in our soul. We cannot recover our courage until we walk in holiness. “Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.” (1 John 3:21)

The Belt of Truth

“Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.” Ephesians 6:14

The belt is not really a piece of the armor, but the belt is what holds the armor on. It is the foundation of the armor. Without the belt, the armor would fall off. So the first thing we need to put on is the belt of truth. This is the truth that Paul has been sharing with us in the book of Ephesians. Paul has been telling us that we need to know this great plan of God’s that gives us life. Paul tells us how we are to act as children of God. All about our relationships with others. This is what the truth is all about. We see so many people that just don’t want to walk in this truth. If we are to grow in our walk with God, we must live in the real world. We need to face reality. We are sinners saved by grace and without God, we can do nothing.

Satan comes as a false teacher and unless we know the truth, we will be lead away with false doctrine. The truth that you live by, needs to be your personal truth. The truth that you believe; not someone else’s truth. You need to have your view of God. How do we find this truth? “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” (Acts 17:11) We find this truth by Bible study and prayer. “So prepare your minds for action and exercise self-control. Put all your hope in the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world.” (1 Peter 1:13) This is living for God and knowing the truth.

The Armor

“Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.” Ephesians 6:13

Paul is repeating the warning to put on the armor. We are hard headed and at times we just don’t listen to what God is telling us. This is the same warning we see in Nahum, “Your enemy is coming to crush you, Nineveh. Man the ramparts! Watch the roads! Prepare your defenses! Call out your forces!” (Nahum 2:1) Paul is telling us to stand where we are and not be movable. Paul was exhorting the Christians in Ephesus to pull their armor closely to their bodies in the places where it was hanging loose, and to repair any holes in their grace. We are to search our spirits to be sure there are no holes where Satan can get in and destroy us.

Peter is warning us also about Satan. “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your family of believers all over the world is going through the same kind of suffering you are.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

We are not to allow Satan to set our agenda. We are given a call and a mission to do for God. We are to move forward in this mission and not allow Satan to stop us.

Our Enemy

“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesian 6:12

Paul does not call the believer into a battle. He just simply announces it is a fact. It is a fact of being a child of God, here on Earth, we will be in a battle with our enemy Satan. This battle will go on until we are home with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This battle that we are fighting is not a physical battle. This battle is fought in the spiritual ream. We see an example of the battle that is being fought in the spiritual in the book of Daniel. “Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia.” (Daniel 10:12-13) This is the key to this verse. The angels of God do the fighting. In other words, this is God’s battle. We fight by our prayers. Paul wants us to be aware of the many spirits that fight again us to pull us down hoping we will not stand for God. As we battle, remember this verse, “And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” (Romans 8:38)

Stand

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11

Paul has been telling us what a wonderful life it is to live according to God’s great plan. In chapters 1-3 he is telling us what a true Christian is all about. Then Paul tells us in chapters 4-6:9 how we should act as a child of God. What our relationships should look like. Now Paul is telling us that if we are to live the way we should, we are going to have problems with Satan. Satan is out to defeat us in our walk with God. We are to be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. It is not our power that we are strong in. We cannot defeat Satan in our power. It must be in God’s power. This is the only way that we are going to stand and remain standing for God. Jesus won the victory on the Cross and this victory is our victory as well, but in order to fight our battles, we must have on the armor of God. Without this armor, we will lose the life that Jesus died for on the Cross.

The armor is for our defense not for advancement. Paul tells us to stand. The armor is for standing our ground. It is to stand the ground that we have already taken for God. There is nothing to protect our rear so this means that we are never to turn our backs on Satan. We are to never retreat. Yes, we need to stand and sometimes standing is all we can do. At times advancing is not possible, but we can stand. Don’t let your fears overwhelm you. March on with courage. The outcome of the battle rests on God’s performance, not on your skill or strength.