Thursday, August 25, 2011

Armor for those we love

Stand up, stand up for Jesus,/ Stand in His strength alone;
The arm of flesh will fail you,/ Ye dare not trust your own;
Put on the gospel armor,/ Each piece put on with prayer;
Where duty calls, or danger,/ Be never wanting there.

One of the best things we can do for a friend or family member undergoing a hard time is to shut up and intercede for them before the Throne, surround them with prayer and let God handle the battle. Remember the stragglers, the weak, and the tired ones who are not in close step with God’s people are easy prey for the enemies of God (Deuteronomy 25:17-18).

Sometimes those we love are blindsided with problems or hammered by a financial hit or overwhelmed with temptation or plagued with poor decisions. Armoring those we love helps them stand in the Lord’s strength.

Ephesians 6:10-18 is a classic passage of standing in battle. Paul stresses four times the importance of standing strong and firm in God’s mighty power – a continuing standing and keep-on-standing way of life. Paul concludes with a command to pray in the Spirit on all occasions and with all kind so prayers and requests (Ephesians 6:18). 

The great Puritan writer William Gurnall, who wrote the classic The Christian in Complete Armour, warns, “Christian, take special care not to trust in the armour of God, but in the God of the armour. All your weapons are only ‘mighty through God’ (2 Cor. 10:4).” Pray that your loved ones will trust in the God of the Armour.

A model for praying on the armor for those we love:

Father, I thank you, for my loved one ______. I ask you to cover ______ in the complete armor of Christ. Make ______ strong in the Lord and in Your mighty power (Ephesians 6:10) so they can stand against the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:11). 
  • Clothe ______ in your belt of truth which keeps ______ from deception. Let them walk in Your light of truth. Remove from them all lies, untruthfulness, denial, and deceptions. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). Set ______ free in your truth (Ephesians 6:14a).

  • Cover ______’s heart in your breastplate of righteousness. Jesus is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1:29). You, Lord, are complete in everything for ______’s life to provide all that is needed at this time in their deepest being, emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. Keep ______’s heart pure before You (Ephesians 6:14b).

  • In your shoes prepared by gospel truth, guide ______ into paths of peace in their own heart and soul, as well as with others. Let them leave peace wherever they go. Jesus is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), and let them find their complete well-being and wholeness (Ephesians 6:15).

  • With the shield of faith in Christ Jesus, give ______ great faith. Help them understand that you have begun a good work in them and you will complete it for your Name’s sake. You are working all things for their good and Your glory. By Your mighty power, do not let fiery darts of fear or doubt, accusation or discouragement find their mark (Ephesians 6:16).

  • Cover ______ in the helmet of salvation to protect their mind. Take their thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) and make them obey the truth of Your Word. Let them act in harmony with the mind of Christ (Ephesians 6:17a).

  • By the mighty Sword of the Spirit, minister to all ______’s needs and give ______ direction or rebuke, discernment and encouragement through your inerrant and powerful Word (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 4:12). Call to ______’s mind Your precious promises. Cut through and break all the plans of the enemy, his strongholds, lies he wants them to believe, and every thought set up against the truth of God (2 Corinthians 10:4-5; Ephesians 6:17b).

  • Help ______ to stand against the enemy at all times in prayer and praise. Fill ______ with confidence that out of the riches of Christ, You are filling every need in their family, finances, physical health, strength, and all that touches them.
We praise (or call on) You that the walls around ______ are salvation, and the gates before them are praise (Isaiah 60:18). Pour your peace and praise into their life like a river (Isaiah 66:12). Let ______’s testimony of Your provision be a thankful overflow from a heart filled with praise, because You are the fullness of all that they are and have. In Jesus holy Name we pray, Amen.
Adapted from Sylvia Gunter, Prayer Essentials for Living in His Presence (Birmingham, AL: Father’s Business, 2000), vol. 1, 201-296.