The Armor of God – Ephesians 6:10-20
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
Paul has continued to remind us that the battle is not ours, neither do we battle against flesh and blood. He reminds us that we can’t fight it on our own strength, but must put on God’s armor! I’m reminded of the shepherd boy David, when offered the armor of King Saul to go into battle against Goliath. That armor didn’t fit him at all… but the armor of God fit perfectly!
One of the great weapons we have available to us is the weapon of prayer. So often we are reminded to live in a spirit of prayer, or to “pray without ceasing.” I’m teaching a class of ministerial students on Tuesday nights, and last night we were reminded of the different ways to help us live in a spirit of prayer:
- Practice the Presence of God – Brother Lawrence recognized that every service and activity he did was an opportunity to serve others and to practice being aware of the presence of God. We know (in our head) that God is always with us, but we need to be reminded of His presence. Find something you do many times during the day (perhaps drinking from your new CECN Water Bottle!)… and whenever you do that thing, take a moment to be aware of God’s presence and offer a conscious prayer of thanks.
- Breath Prayers – Brennan Manning practices this discipline. Upon the first few moments of consciousness in the morning, he concentrates on his breath, and the prayer “Abba, I belong to you.” As he inhales, he considers the word “Abba” (Daddy, Father); and upon exhaling, he considers the phrase “I belong to you.” Later in the day, whenever he might become aware of his breathing, he allows the truth of that prayer to permeate his heart and mind.
- Reading Prayers – Take a prayer book like the Psalms, and take a moment each day to read (out loud) a prayer of lament, thanks, petition, or praise. Reading the prayers of others helps to nourish our own spiritual life.
- Thought Prayers – Obviously, we can pray at any time during the day… simply by turning our attention toward God and offering Him thanks… or seeking His intervention in our circumstances.
- Listening Prayers – The boy Samuel reminds us of this when he was awakened in the night and finally learned to say, “Speak Lord, your servant listens.” It is helpful for us to simply find time to quiet our hearts before God, to become aware of His presence, and to listen for that still, small voice.
Try a new discipline of prayer today, and consider how you might be drawn closer to God!
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To Him whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless;
And since He bids me seek His face,
Believe His Word, and trust His grace,
I’ll cast on Him my ev’ry care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.
– William W. Walford