Life is war. That’s not all it is. But it is always that. Our weakness in prayer is owing largely to our neglect of this truth. Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the Church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief. It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts for the den. – John Piper
This year we have been confronted more than most with the fact that life is a spiritual battle. Has it changed your prayer life?
In your battle against the schemes of the enemy like despair, apathy and boredom. Have you prayed at all times in the Spirit? No, neither have I! And that is why Paul urges us to be strong in the Lord and stand (he uses that word at least 3 times) against the devil, wearing the armour of God. We need it.
The imagery of the Roman armour is a powerful one. The shields were only effective when the soldiers were standing together in battle lines with the front holding theirs forwards the inside people holding theirs overhead and the side people holding theirs to the side. Being in a church family is an important part of our all-round protection.
The belt of truth of course holds everything up. Truth matters especially in an age where most people regard the truth as relative and are not too bothered if their favourite politician has lied 20,000 times in four years! In day to day life truth still matters even if we don’t think it does!
The breastplate of righteousness is a two fold reminder!
- We are already clothed in righteousness by Jesus (Isa 61:10; 2 Cor 5:21) who has exchanged our filthy rags for his righteousness. As we prayerfully put on the armour we remind ourselves that our righteousness comes from Jesus not us!
- It reminds us what we are, so be! We are righteous, so be righteous.
Putting on our gospel shoes, reminds us to ask for opportunities to share our faith and bring God’s kingdom through offering prayer, healing the sick and even raising the dead.
The shield of faith is our corporate church protection – find ways to stay rooted even in these crazy days of social distancing.
The helmet of salvation is a reminder to watch our thinking.
The sword of the Spirit takes us on the offensive – hence the wartime walkie talkie quote above. Pray for each other and for bold witness.
Then we stand and stand firm and also take ground!