Pray at All Times
Open Your Bible
Ephesians 6:10-20, Psalm 55:16-18, Daniel 9:17-19, Matthew 6:5-15, Philippians 4:4-9, Hebrews 4:14-16, 1 John 5:14-15
BY Patti Sauls
Though not specifically called out as a piece of armor, prayer is essential to moving from self-sufficiency to dependence on the Holy Spirit. Everything else in this passage is equipped through the powerful resource of prayer.
After almost two weeks of reading about the armor of God, I bet many of us have pictured ourselves armored up. Maybe we’ve even mentally practiced “putting on” the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the sandals of peaceful readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. It’s quite a sight, right? Here we are, armored up in metal and leather—like ancient warriors, swords in hand. Clearly, spiritual battle isn’t child’s play as we combat powers of darkness.
Paul’s words paint a striking picture and stir our imagination. In my mind, we stand firm, armor on, poised to fight. It’s go time! We strain to hear our marching orders.
“Pray at all times in the Spirit with every prayer and request, and stay alert with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18). Really? Prayer and intercession? Suddenly I feel all dressed up with no place to go. We’re all geared up, and our first plan is to pray?
Yes, this is the battle plan: to begin by talking with the One who holds all hope for victory and to remember that God is the source of all spiritual power and direction. Prayer—our open channel for honest communication with God—is a mighty gift and a dependable drumbeat for life. Like the steady beat of a drumline that walks alongside soldiers heading into combat, prayer is the drumbeat in our battle against evil and brokenness. This steady cadence of prayer unifies us, sets our pace, and leads us onward.
I’m relieved that our marching orders begin with prayer and include a real talk with God every step of the way. I’m relieved because I’m afraid. Afraid to fight the darkness, afraid to trust God and His plans, afraid that I’ll fail to use my weapons well. It turns out my armored-up bravery is often flimsy bravado. I know what it means to falter in faith, in relationships, in work, and in convictions. If it’s up to me to remain steadfast in battle and secure the victory, all hope is lost.
Yet, thanks be to God, the drumbeat of prayer breaks through the noise of doubts and fears and steady us. “I call to God, and the LORD will save me. I complain and groan morning, noon, and night, and he hears my voice” (Psalm 55:16–17). We don’t fake it ‘til we make it, and we never march alone. The Lord hears; the Lord saves.
So we pray and march on—upheld by God’s truth, our faltering hearts covered by Christ, our doubting minds made sure of our salvation. We move forward in peace as we deflect doubt by faith and destroy lies by the Spirit’s power at work through the Word of God. Our armor is nothing less than a trinity of protection from God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
God’s Word is my command. Because that word is prayer, I am never alone…and the beat goes on.