Fight with me in prayer. That is what the Apostle Paul asked the church in Rome to do (Romans 15:30). It may seem strange to think of prayer as a battle, but the Bible assures us that Christians are caught in a firefight, and without prayer we will fall.
In Ephesians 6 we learn that our enemies in this age are not flesh and blood but spiritual: Satan and his evil troops. Our real battle is not political, economic or cultural. Our battle is spiritual.
In order to stand against the spiritual forces of evil in this age we must be diligent in using all the spiritual equipment which God has provided. Like a well-armed soldier, followers of Jesus can face the enemy with confidence, knowing that victory is assured.
The Apostle Paul was incarcerated and being guarded by a Roman soldier as he wrote about spiritual warfare to the believers in Ephesus. His description of God’s full armor is a great way to think about the spiritual weapons that God has given his people.
The belt of truth enables us to stand against Satan’s lies. The breastplate of righteousness makes us impervious to the accusations made against us by the Devil. Feet fitted with the readiness of the gospel of peace keep us from being frozen by fear of our Enemy.
The shield of faith protects us from the deadly temptations that are fired at us in order to destroy us. The helmet of salvation gives us confidence to pursue heaven in a world that is trying desperately to ignore the danger of hell.
The sword of God’s Spirit is the word of God. The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. No weapon can withstand God’s word.
When Jesus was tempted by Satan he wielded the sword of the Spirit, applying Scripture in order to push the Enemy back in defeat. The Bible gives us great power in our battle against the evil forces in this world.
After instructing his readers to adorn the full armor of God, the apostle directed them to pray with passion and perseverance. The battle is won in prayer. Prayer enables us to stand in the mighty power of God, which is greater than any enemy we might face.
Jesus fought the good fight of faith on the cross at Calvary and displayed astounding power by walking away from his tomb in triumph. But first he prayed with great passion and perseverance in Gethsemane. His sweat was like blood dropping to the ground, yet he prayed on. When his prayer was finished the victory was assured.
Paul finished his instruction in Ephesians 6 by asking for prayer that he would proclaim the gospel with boldness. Despite being chained to a Roman soldier like a common criminal, he realized that his true identity was ambassador for Christ.
We, too, are called to be ambassadors for Christ. Let’s fight together in prayer. Pray for God’s people. No weapon forged against us will prevail.
May we stand strong for Christ in his power and for his glory,
Brother Richard Foster