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 saints. Ephesians 6:18
To stand firm in our story of faith, we have been instructed to intentionally put on the full armor of God one piece at a time. Once all is in place we are then instructed on how to effectively use the armor against the devils destructive schemes. We are all dressed up, so now what?
We pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. As we are equipped with truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God, we have the resources for standing firm. Prayer ignites and empowers the armor. Praying must be done in the Spirit – in submission to His authority and affections. Just as Christ prayed for the cup of death to be removed, he also prayed for God’s will not His own. That is praying in the Spirit according to God’s will.
We put on the armor and pray in the Spirit on all occasions. The word “occasions” in the Greek refers to “a critical or decisive point in time, a moment of great importance and significance.” Most “occasions” call for prayer, however, we often just want to use a piece of the armor to work out the need of the moment. However, the most effective way to stand firm in any occasion is to pray with the armor on and ask God for His will to be accomplished.
As I began a lifelong journey of hiding God’s Word in my heart, I realized that the only way the armor of the Word would be ignited in my life was by praying the verses I memorized for specific people and purposes. I began to attach each verse I memorized to a person and would pray that verse for them each time I reviewed the verse. The verse that I have prayed for my children is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5) I have seen the Holy Spirit work this truth into their lives as they have consistently sought, served and loved God and people.
Using the armor of the Word we can go to battle for others and for ourselves as we pray for all kinds of requests for healing, relationships, and struggles with sin. There is no request that is too small or too big – bring them all before “the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Once dressed with God’s armor, we are to first pray in the Spirit and secondly we are to be alert and perseverant in those prayers. “With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” To be alert is also referred to in Scripture as watchfulness. “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” (Colossians 4:2) Watchful is “a mindfulness of threatening dangers which with conscious earnestness and alert mind keeps me from all drowsiness and all slackening in the energy of faith and conduct.”
When Jesus found his disciples sleeping while he was praying about his cross-bearing journey, He said to them, “Keep watching and praying that you may not come into temptation; the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38) Every Christian you know is fighting a battle because the enemy is intent on destroying God’s children. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8) This is why we must stay awake to the things that threaten our families, marriages, friendships, and ministries. This year I have seen the enemy take down a minister of the gospel who I have known personally for many years. Unfortunately those of us who know him were not alert enough to the temptations he was facing. We had fallen asleep and had not persevered in our prayers for this saint. This failure to be watchful has taught me to be ever vigilant in my prayers for myself and for all believers.
What about you? Are you all dressed up, but lack power to take down the enemy of your soul?
Pray in the Spirit always,
Sacred Story is honored to have Nancy Taylor as a guest contributor. Nancy loves the Word of God and has been hiding it in her heart for over 15 years. In her book, “Taking the Word to Heart,” Nancy shares her journey of scripture memory and practical ways to get a firm grip on God’s Word. She loves to encourage women in their walk with Christ through writing, teaching and mentoring. She and her husband William live in Houston, TX and enjoy spending time with their two adult children, their spouses and their two grandchildren.