Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Spiritual Warfare (Part 6 of 6)

Continued from Part 5 of 6.

Finally, let us return to Ephesians 6:10-18.

One great American event vividly illustrates Paul’s exhortation to the Ephesians to take their stand under the armor of God against the devil’s schemes. That great and godly Virginian, General Thomas J. Jackson and his brigade earned the sobriquet “Stonewall” from the valiant discipline of standing they exhibited on the field of First Manassas on July 21, 1861.

In their first battle, with all the attendant fears and insecurities, amidst the smoke, confusion, screams, whizzes, explosions, and the inability to tell whose flag was whose, Jackson’s brigade stood firm and led Barnard Bee of South Carolina to rally the troops and countercharge in a glorious victory that drove the enemy to the gates of Washington.

After Paul’s extended metaphor on the armor of God, he ends with an admonition to prayer (v.18). Paul intends the sword of the Spirit (v. 17) to be accompanied by “all kinds of prayers and requests” (v. 18). In fact, the word of God and the prayers and petitions are placed side by side in the text. [1]

Paul is clear that prayer is part of the armor and is listed with the only other offensive weaponry in the Christian’s armor. Every one of the strategies mentioned above involves prayer. May we all grow in Paul’s admonition to prayer in spiritual warfare.

Return to the beginning of the article, Part 1 of 6.

[1] “17b καὶ τὴν μάχαιραν τοῦ Πνεύματος, ὅ ἐστιν ῥῆμα Θεοῦ. 18 διὰ πάσης προσευχῆς καὶ δεήσεως, προσευχόμενοι ἐν παντὶ καιρῷ ἐν Πνεύματι, καὶ εἰς αὐτὸ τοῦτο ἀγρυπνοῦντες ἐν πάσῃ προσκαρτερήσει καὶ δεήσει περὶ πάντων τῶν ἁγίων,” (and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Through all kinds of prayers and petitions, praying on all occasions in the Spirit, and in this, keeping watch with all perseverance and petitions concerning all the saints.”)