June 21, 2013
Ephesians 6:18, 19
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
We have come to the final blog of the Know Your Enemy! series – the twenty first chapter! Let’s look at the final piece of the armor God has given us to fight our battles with Satan and his minions – the second of the two offensive weapons available to us – described in Ephesians 6:18 through 20:
…praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful
to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all saints – and for me,
that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make
known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains;
that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.
Some do not see prayer as one of the available weapons. I do. I think you will also see the importance of prayer in spiritual warfare.
First of all, prayer is vital as it pertains to our Christian lives generally. There are many scriptures that support this – too many for this short study! But let’s lift up one passage, I John 5:14 and 15:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him [Jesus], that, if we ask any
thing according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us,
whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of
It is God’s will that we fight the enemy, so we can know that He hears and answers our prayers concerning this warfare!
Obviously, we need our Lord’s direction when we are engaging our enemy! And what I call “Nehemiah praying” is essential. Nehemiah, cupbearer to the king of Babylon, was broken-hearted that Jerusalem lay in ruins – devastated by the Babylonian invasion 141 years before. His desire was to be sent by royal commission to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The look on his face betrayed his broken heart, and the king asked him what was wrong. Upon hearing of the situation in Jerusalem, the king asked Nehemiah, “What do you request?” (Nehemiah 2:4). Nehemiah’s response before answering the king? “So I prayed to the God of heaven.” (Nehemiah 2:4). He sent up a quick prayer, something like, “God, help me out here!” And then asked the king for permission to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the city walls.
A “Nehemiah prayer” is a short petition for help and guidance in the midst of something else going on – in the case of spiritual warfare, as we are battling – “Lord, direct me! Should I crouch behind my shield just now, or parry with my sword? Should I strike the enemy’s mid-section or go for the head?”
“…being watchful…” (Ephesians 6:18) is part of prayer. Jesus told His three disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41). You might say we are instructed to “pray with our eyes open”!
But Paul wants more from his readers than just to pray as they fight. He implores them to pray “…with all perseverance and supplication for all saints….” We are admonished to pray for Christian brothers and sisters who are engaging the enemy – both on foreign mission fields and at home!
But there is more that the apostle desires:
…[Pray] for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth
boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador
in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:19).
Paul needs the prayers of others to fight his own battles effectively! And notice something else in this scripture. Paul reminds them that he is “an ambassador in chains.” We should be aware of the conditions under which fellow Christians are fighting.
So, Christian, “…take up the whole armor of God…” (Ephesians 6:13). Put on the defensive protection and take up the offensive weapons. We have battles to fight in a war that our Lord has already won. Our enemy, the devil, just doesn’t realize yet that Jesus has procured the victory!!! God has given us all that we need “…to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” So fight….!