How seriously do you take prayer? For most Christians, prayer is merely a side-item to their “feel-good” faith; this is a sad and terrible travesty. Prayer is one of our most powerful weapons in offensive spiritual warfare.
Most of us can say that we know the Scripture referencing our spiritual armor…
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
(Ephesians 6: 10-17)
Here, Paul lists out every article of our spiritual armor that is necessary for us to be powerful soldiers for our King. However, many leave out the very next verse that is crucial to the success of the armor, and the battle itself…
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints…
(Ephesians 6: 18)
Here, Paul is not just wrapping up his statement, he is clenching together the armor of God with connection to the Commander! What good is a soldier who no longer has any contact with the governing authority? If that soldier were to lose all contact and communication, then not only would he/she be helpless on the battlefield- not knowing what the present orders actually were- but the fighter would then be rendered essentially useless to the army and the cause.
Allow me to share with you a wonderful perspective regarding this, written by Andrew Murray:
Let’s say that two men quarrel over a certain point. We’ll call them Christian and Apollyon. Apollyon notices that Christian has a certain weapon which would give him sure victory. They meet in a deadly battle, and Apollyon resolves to take away the lethal weapon from his opponent, and destroy it. For the moment the main cause of the quarrel has become subordinate. The great point now is: Who shall get possession of this powerful weapon on which everything depends? So it is in the conflict between Satan and the believer. God’s child can conquer everything by prayer. Is it any wonder that Satan does his utmost to snatch the weapon from the Christian, or to hinder him in the use of it?
It is critical that we, as believers and disciples of Christ, take hold of this powerful weapon that He has given to us. Prayer isn’t just a “PS:” on our day… it’s the only way we can be effective in this life! Sure, we can do good things on our own, we can be charitable, and we can live out our day-to-day lives with relative ease. However, in order to know what our commands are: where we are to go, who we are to meet with and talk to, where we are to serve, how to experience His peace when things go wrong, how to tap back into His strength reserves when we’re exhausted and depressed… we HAVE to stay in contact with our commander!
The wonderful thing is, it isn’t just a one-way street… we don’t have to sit around and wait for a message from Him to see what He wants us to do. We can go right up to Him and ask Him anything or tell Him anything. He gives us permission as sons and daughters (fellow heirs to the Kingdom) to come to Him 24/7! This is only due to His sacrifice… we would never be able to pray directly to Him, without a priest interceding on our behalf, were it not for Jesus making a way into the Holy of Holies through His death and resurrection. May we never take advantage of the fact that we have a direct line to the King of Glory and a bottomless reservoir of His life-giving water.
We are to put on the full armor of God- if we are living the life God wants us to live then WE WILL NEED IT! However, it will be essentially useless if we do not take every step in that armor, in careful and purposeful prayer.