The privilege and the power of prayer cannot be over stated or mentioned too much. Disciples of Christ are able to pray and have the same kind of relationship Jesus had with the Father through the Holy Spirit in prayer.
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
UNDERSTANDING THE PASSAGE
- BE STRONG IN THE LORD’S POWER (v. 10): Be baptized in the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues (Acts 1:8 & Ephesians 5:18).
- STAND AGAINST THE DEVIL’S SCHEMES (v. 11): The disciple is fighting from a place of victory, not for victory because Jesus has already won the battle (Colossians 2:15 & 1 John 3:8). We are to stand in our victory and fight against every attack that tries to move us from our secure place in Christ.
- THE BATTLE IS NOT AGAINST PEOPLE (v. 12): Man is not the primary enemy, the devil’s four levels of demons are; (1) Rulers, (2) Authorities, (3) Powers & (4) Forces of evil.
- PUT ON THE FULL ARMOR OF GOD (vs. 13-17): The armor of God is symbolic for the power of the Holy Spirit made evident in our lives by living according to the Word of God.
THE FULL ARMOR
- BELT OF TRUTH: The belt of truth (Jesus’ teachings and commands) hold up your spiritual pants up and centers all you do (John 8:31-32).
- BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS: The breastplate of righteousness (given to you by Christ at the new birth) protects your heart and gives you your identity (2 Corinthians 5:21).
- SHOES OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE: The shoes of the gospel of peace (peace with God because of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection) is what guides your life and gives purpose to everything you do (Romans 10:14-15).
- SHIELD OF FAITH:The shield of faith (faith in God’s Word) protects you from all the attacks of the enemy (doubt & fear) (Romans 10:17).
- HELMET OF SALVATION: The helmet of salvation (the mind of Christ) guards your thoughts and lines them up with the will of God (Romans 12:1-2).
- SWORD OF THE SPIRIT: The sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) is the weapon you use against your carnal thoughts (1 Peter 2:11 & 2 Corinthians 10:5) and the devil’s temptations (Luke 4:3-4 & 1 John 2:15-17).
THE POWER OF PRAYER
PRAY WITH PASSION (vs. 18-20): Biblical prayer involves three unique elements, (1) Communicating with God, (2) Listening to the Holy Spirit, and (3) Speaking God’s Word against the enemy. Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Below are nine “kinds of prayers and requests”:
- PRAYER OF REQUEST: Asking God to meet a need (John 14:13-14).
- PRAYER OF REPENTANCE: Asking God to forgive your sins (2 Corinthians 7:10).
- PRAYER OF INTERCESSION: Asking God to meet other people’s needs (Romans 8:26-27).
- PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING: Thanking God for His blessings (Philippians 4:6).
- PRAYER IN UNKNOWN TONGUES: Praying mysteries to God in unknown languages given by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2).
- PRAYER OF FAITH: Declaring by faith the will of God from the Word of God (Matthew 17:20).
- PRAYER OF AGREEMENT: Asking God with others to meet a need (Matthew 18:19-20).
- PRAYER OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE: Praying for God to conquer spiritual enemies (Psalm 3:7).
- PRAYER OF PERSISTENCE: Praying without ceasing until the need is met (Luke 11:8-10).
THE TWO KINDS OF BATTLE GROUNDS
(1) FROM VICTORY – OUR PERSONAL BATTLES: The battle ground known as, “From Victory” is the place where we stand and defend all that Jesus has already won in our lives- God’s Promises! We pray and declare the Word of God over our lives.
(2) FOR VICTORY – FOR OTHERS TO WIN THEIR BATTLES: The battle ground known as, “For Victory” is when the disciple storms the gates of hell in prayer and preaching of the gospel to fulfill Jesus’ promise to build the church (Matthew 16:18-19)! We pray and declare the Word of God over other people’s lives.
Whether we are fighting from our personal victory in Jesus or fighting for the victory of Jesus to be given to others- we need to pray with the power of the Holy Spirit based on the Word of God!