Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:18 (ESV)
It is fitting that Paul would conclude his teaching on the armor of God with a strong exhortation for us to pray. Prayer is much more than a weapon of spiritual warfare. It is doubtful that without prayer the weapons of our warfare would be enough to secure victory in our battle with the devil. Paul’s exhortation to “pray at all times with all different kinds of prayer” (general and specific) urges us to make prayer the priority during every season of life, every temptation and every spiritual conflict. Colossians 4:2 tells us to “continue steadfastly in prayer.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 exhorts us to “pray without ceasing” and Romans 12:12 encourages us to be “constant in prayer.” We should be in a constant attitude of prayer.
When Paul told the Ephesians to pray “in the Spirit” he was referring to the Holy Spirit. Praying in the Spirit means to pray under the influence of the Holy Spirit; being led by and helped by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit knows the mind and will of our heavenly father and intercedes for us when we do not know how or what to pray (Romans 8:26-27). Likewise Jude admonishes us to pray in the Holy Spirit (Jude 20). Since the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and leads us into all truth (John 16:13), praying in the Holy Spirit undergirds our belt of truth as we seek to know God (John 17:3) and war against the lies of the enemy.
Prayer is crucial when the fiery darts of doubt assail our shield of faith in an effort to quench our hope in God’s provision (Philippians 4:6). Coming to God in prayer and supplication with thanksgiving undergirds our helmet of the hope of salvation in that it brings the peace of God to guard our hearts and minds and reminds us of our final victory (1 Corinthians 15:57; Philippians 4:7). Prayer undergirds or makes effective the shoes of the gospel of peace as we share the good news of the gospel of Christ to a lost world (Matthew 9:38; Colossians 4:3). Prayer undergirds the sword of the Spirit when we need know God’s will in our circumstance (Colossians 1:9). Prayer undergirds the breastplate of righteousness as we endeavor to be obedient to God’s word that leads to righteous behavior and righteous deeds (Philippians 1:9-11).
Prayer is imperative when we are suffering or undergoing hardship (James 5:13). When we are battling temptation to sin we should pray as Jesus taught us; that God would lead us away from temptation and keep us from the evil one (Matthew 6:13; 26:41). Fervent prayer is vital when we need healing and forgiveness of sins (James 5:14-16).
King David knew the source of his victory. He wrote, When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. (Psalm 34:17 ESV) We must always pray and never lose heart (Luke 18:1). Not one hair of our heads will perish (Luke 21:18).
Do you spend quality time in prayer?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Timothy 2:1, 8
1 Peter 3:12