The whole, full armor of God. God designed this armor, not to stand on display in a museum or as decoration in a castle, but to be filled with men and women. That turns empty armor into a soldier.
When this armor is upon and around me, I am ready to stand. But what do I do while I am standing?
Ephesians 6:18 Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.6:18 Greek all of God’s holy people.
19 And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike. 20 I am in chains now, still preaching this message as God’s ambassador. So pray that I will keep on speaking boldly for him, as I should.
I have often prayed in my own spirit. I have asked for help financially, physically, mentally and even once in a while spiritually. But my own spirit asks for my circumstances to be changed. The circumstances that are the fire with which I am forged. But, I pray to remain soft and comfy and free of armor.
Pray in the Spirit.
At all times and on every occasion pray in the Spirit.
Paul did things that I could never hope to do. Jesus spoke directly to the Father and did what no man could achieve. But my prayers, at times, seem to have all the impact of a snowball hitting a concrete wall.
Look at what Paul requests for prayer. He asks for prayers that he will keep on speaking boldly the Gospel to all nations. He reminds the Ephesian that he is in prison but he doesn’t ask for prayers to be freed. He is standing firm in that battle and is confident God will use him wherever he is. His circumstances do not alter his mission or his prayers. He is praying in the Spirit of what God would have him do, not to make it possible and change his location, situation or what accessories he is wearing.
He knows that God will put him where he needs to be. He is praying that he can do what he needs to do and become the man for the job through Christ who gives him strength.
Why don’t I know that?
I think it is because I shy away from putting on that heavy armor, carrying that burden that I am to carry and walking out into the battle to stand firm.
Paul had been out there on the front lines, standing in the fray and he knew from experience that God wasn’t a concept or idea, but he was power from on high willing to march wherever God called Paul to march.
Maybe I should be praying that I learn how big God is instead of what God can give me. I should pray to know God is real and alive in me instead of calling on him only when I think I need him.
At any rate, I don’t spend enough time in prayer. I don’t pray at all times and every occasion. Some days I bark a short prayer over my food giving a quick thanks before chowing down and that’s it. That’s the extent of my prayer.
I think Christianity has gotten to the place today, and maybe it has always been this way, that we prefer to talk to each other, about each other, judging each other more than we desire to talk to God.
I feel like I am guilty of a severe misappropriation of the English language. I know that I need to spend more time with God and less time telling everybody how godly I am.
So, I guess I’ll find more time and occasions to pray today. Then, this armor may do me a lot more good.