The Secret Weapon in Spiritual Warfare
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
“Pray … with all kinds of prayers … and always keep on praying.” The Word of God is a powerful weapon, but words with God are also powerful. Paul had been fighting on the front lines long enough to know that prayer is a Christian’s ultimate secret weapon; therefore, he concluded his teaching on spiritual warfare with a rallying cry for prayer.
Paul didn’t just acknowledge the power of prayer; he relied on it. In chapter 1, he assured the Ephesians that he was remembering them in his prayers (v. 16). As he ended the letter, he urged them to pray for themselves, for their brothers and sisters in Christ, and specifically for him. Their victories in spiritual warfare would come only if they made prayer a daily priority.
“With this in mind” in verse 18 may refer to what Paul had said in verses 10-17: the cunning and mightiness of our foes, the need for armor, and the importance of vigilance. Paul then underscored the importance of prayer by asking the Ephesians to pray for him—that he would remain a faithful, fearless ambassador for God (vv.19-20). If Paul realized his need for the prayers of others, should that not spur us to ask others to pray for us and to pray for them in return?
When Roman soldiers marched into conflict, their large shields—tall enough to conceal each man’s entire body—overlapped. From the enemy’s perspective, the advancing Roman army looked like a huge, metal-plated wall. It appeared to be impenetrable and invincible. And it often was. Do the interlocking prayers of God’s people create a similar effect? When Satan and “all the powers of this dark world” see Christians united in prayer, do they cringe?
To the Thessalonians, Paul wrote, “Pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). To the Colossians, he said, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (4:2). He told Timothy, “I want [people] everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer” (1 Timothy 2:8).
Do you consider prayer your secret weapon in spiritual warfare?
Jesus was a man of prayer. Read Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46, and Luke 6:12. What do these verses teach us about how much Jesus valued His conversations with His Father?
Paul used the words alert in Ephesians 6:18 and watchful in Colossians 4:2. What do you think is the relationship between our commitment to prayer and our ability to be alert and prepared for spiritual battles? Consider what Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 26:41.
Paul mentioned Tychicus in Ephesians 6:21-22, Colossians 4:7-9, 2 Timothy 4:12, and Titus 3:12. What valuable role did Tychicus play in Paul’s ministry? Is your role in God’s army more like Paul’s or like Tychicus’s? Do you consider both roles equally important?
Denise K. Loock