Spiritual Battle: Standing Firm – Prayer
Finally we come to Verse 18
“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”
Prayer is not listed as a weapon in this passage because it is more than that. Prayer is the spiritual air that the soldier of Christ breathes and it should pervade our whole lives. Paul uses the word “pray” or “prayer” 5 times in the last three verses, indicating how important it is. Without it, the rest of the armour will not be effective.
When I’m at work my most important piece of equipment is my radio. Without I cannot communicate with my control room or any of my colleagues and I and cut off and isolated.
- -We need to pray on ALL OCCASSIONS – We need to bring everything to God in prayer, through all circumstances whether good or bad.
- We need to use ALL TYPES OF PRAYER – there are many ways of praying: Corporate, private, short, long, loud, quiet, praise, requests…
- We need to pray ALL THE TIME – This doesn’t mean walking round with your eyes closed and hands together! We need to be conscious of the presence of the Holy Sprit in our loves and live in relationship with God.
- We need to pray for ALL THE PEOPLE – We are in this battle together and we need to pray together and for each other.
Paul then asks for prayer – “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.
Paul knew the power of prayer and his first priority is not his release from prison, but the spreading of the gospel. He also asks that he might FEARLESSLY make the gospel known. This is the climax to the whole passage and book of Ephesians and the key to the building of God’s kingdom.
The ultimate goal is to know Christ and make him known to the world, but we will face severe resistance in trying to accomplish this mission. We can be fearless and have confidence because we have the power of God on our side.
When I am on duty as a police officer it isn’t only the uniform and equipment that gives me protection. When I first joined the police I swore an oath to protect the Queen’s peace and to protect people and property. When I deal with people and situations at work I have confidence to make decisions and to use my authority because it is underpinned by the law and I have authority and power bestowed on me by the Crown, by her majesty the Queen.
In the same way we have power an authority that comes from God our King, and we can have the confidence to act with the protection of his armour and by the power of his spirit through prayer.