Over the past two weeks I have been sharing insights about the armour that believers have been instructed by God to put on as we go into the battlefield on a daily basis (Eph. 6:10-18). Our battle is not against flesh and blood but against Satan and his demonic forces (Eph. 6:12). One of the prophetic words from the Lord for 2018 is that He requires His people to become the warriors He has purposed for us to be to push back the forces of darkness in the nation. Therefore, it is particularly important that we accept the urgency of becoming battle ready. It is our responsibility to ensure that all of our armour is in place so we do not become casualties or prisoners of war.
For those of you joining us for the first time, in Part 1 I covered the girdle of truth, the breastplate of righteousness and upon our feet the gospel of peace. In Part 2, I discussed the Holy Spirit’s revelation about the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation. In this final part of the series, I will share on the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT and PRAYER. Up to this point, all of the armour has been defensive in nature. The SWORD OF THE SPIRIT and PRAYER are the two offensive weapons in the armoury.
As noted in Ephesians 6:17, the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT is the Word of God. We are not to believe that because the Word of God is stated so far down in the list it is not important. In fact, the opposite is true. All the other pieces of the armour cannot exist apart from the Word. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation all built up in us through the Word.
Sanctify them by Your truth, Your word is truth. (John 17:17)
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isa. 26:3)
The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ – He is Lord of all – (Acts 10:36)
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom. 10:17)
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Rom. 1:16)
It is not sufficient to know and understand that the Word is integral to the defensive pieces of armour. It is also critical that we learn how to use it aggressively in our warfare against the enemy.
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Heb. 4:12)
The word is so powerful that we see Jesus showing us the example of how to wield it against Satan as He was tempted by him in the wilderness (Matt. 4:3-11). Each time Jesus fought back the weapon of Satan by quoting the Word. He won the victory over Satan’s strategy by skilfully wielding the sword of the spirit.
Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him. (Matt. 4:11)
If Jesus had need of the sword of the spirit in his warfare, how much more we must need it as His disciples. But how can you wield it unless you know it? This is part of the powerlessness we are observing today in the Body of Christ. We are sitting targets for the enemy because we do not spend sufficient time studying, meditating and memorizing the word of God. We memorize and sing the latest songs of the world though and what does that achieve for us? We need to establish our priorities if we want to live the abundant life and take back territory for the Lord!!
PRAYER is the final piece of our armour. We are given specific instructions with regards to how prayer is to be used as a weapon. Not every kind of prayer is a weapon.
With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. (Eph. 6:18, AMP)
It is evident from the passage that intercessory prayer is the main type of prayer that is to be used for warfare. Because the enemy never sleeps, we are told to be praying “on every occasion, in every season, staying alert, with all perseverance”. This is a sacrificial type of praying. Secondly, we are to pray “in the Spirit”. That is, to pray in tongues that we receive through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. If we were only able to pray with our understanding it would be very difficult to be persevering in prayer as we would soon run out of words.
For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (1 Cor. 14:14-15)
For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries. (1 Cor. 14:2)
The great thing about praying in the Spirit (praying in tongues) is that we know that we are praying in accordance with the will of God.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Rom. 8:26-27)
Note also from the Ephesians 6:18 verse, we are to intercede for – “all God’s people”. In essence then, not only is prayer an aggressive weapon it is also the weapon that will cover our backs. Note, none of the other armour protects your back. We are expected to be there for one another during the battle, covering each other. Could this be why so many of God’s people are not living the life of overcoming Christians? Are we guilty of not caring enough about each other; not being alert to the enemy’s attacks on each other; and not standing in the gap for our brothers and sisters in the Lord? I have no doubt that this is an area of weakness in the Body of Christ. We do not come to prayer meetings generally, so I doubt that we are at home praying for each other. Paul, a powerful man of God, requested that the Christians in Ephesus pray that he may have boldness to speak the gospel of the good news as he should (Eph. 6:19-20). How much more do all of us need this kind of intercessory prayer to be lifted up on our behalf. We need it now more than ever, as God is demanding that we stand up for righteousness in spite of the opposition we know we are going to face. We have to encourage each other in the Lord and stand in the gap on each other’s behalf if we are going to be a victorious army. Think about it, you could be the reason we have so many prisoners of war being held in bondage by the enemy. It’s not too late to be part of the rescue team!! God does hold us responsible to be one another’s keeper.
By this all will know you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35)
It is my earnest prayer that this series has provided powerful insights about the importance of each part of the armour the Lord has provided for our victory in battle and has convicted you to inspect and strengthen any weak areas so that your answer to the question “Are you ready for battle?” will be a resounding “YES!!”