By Tom Garner
PAUL IN VERSES 11-17 HAS JUST SPOKEN on the "Full Armor Of God.." My friends there have been many, many, many books written on this one subject! Many sermons have been preached on this one subject. Many have written as to the various elements and importance of each piece. There has even been great theological debates of their importance.
Yet I, personally have heard or seen little written of the prayer which Paul directs us to in verse 18. If one where to say; "But there is no designation as to the armor regarding prayer, let us take a moment and reflect what Paul is saying.
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. - Ephesians 6:13
Here Paul starts out a illustration of something he is very familiar with, the Roman Army. He starts out with the basic instructions.
The "Why", to stand firm. To be able to resist the evil one. He then starts out describing each piece of the armor giving special attention to its attributes.
"Leggings of Truth";
"Breastplate of Righteousness";
"The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace";
"The Shield of Faith"
"Helmet of Salvation"
"Sword of the Spirit".
All these elements make up the full armor, and yet there is a missing element. Fully dressed for war, and yet there is something missing. Can you guess what that is?
Again, Paul being familiar with the Roman Army, gives to us verse 18. Why does he follow with verse 18? Let us read:
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, - Ephesians 6:18
Why "with all prayer?" The army ready is ready for battle but they have not received their instructions, or if you will, their "marching orders". A army without the lines of communications set up is ready for a fall. You must come to grips with this statement! When the lines of communication are down those who are in the battle are LOST! They do not know where the other units are in relationship to themselves. The soldier will not know where they are in the grand scheme of things. They will not realize nor can they be told where their weaknesses are, and most of all, they are cut off from the one who has designed the battle! Many here today have fought in WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm and they will tell you in no nonsense terms how essential the lines of communication are!
Many today are like those lost in battle, they have read the books, and have a full understanding of what the "full armor of God" is, yet they just skip over verses 18 - 20. You cannot do this, for if you do then the lines of communication have not been established and you will be LOST! That is why Paul speaks on this one subject after the discourse of the of the "ARMOR".
Prayer is an essential part of the armor ever bit as much as the Leggings of Truth, Breastplate of Righteousness, The Sandals of the Gospel of Peace, The Shield of Faith, Helmet of Salvation, and the Sword of the Spirit. It is the essential element before going into battle, it is setting up the lines of communication.
So then, we must recognize the importance of speaking with our Master, on points of the upcoming battle, on strategies and where our weakness lies. We must never lose sight of this one important element.
So then what does Paul say we are to do.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,
Prayer and Petitions PRAY At All Times.
We must understand that we are to be in constant communication with the one who knows all things, understands all things, and who sees more of the battle than just the little part of the battle we are in. Please understand, we are addressing the one who knows the outcome. So with this in mind we must put ourselves in constant communication with him. Let the lines communication be established!
With this be on alert.
If we are in constant communications with the one who knows where we are in the battle this then will give you the ability to know where your lines are weak and to be alert in these areas. You see, God deals with the aspects of our weaknesses when we are in communication with him, to strengthen the areas in which we are weak. Only in our constant communication can we know those areas in our lives which put us in jeopardy. Which are niches in our armor. He will put us on alert for them. But if only the lines of communication are open!
With all perseverance and petitions for all the saints.
Again Paul gives a battle plan, only if the lines of communication are open can we be told of our brothers position, the one who is trouble. Only then can God send us to the front where there is trouble. You see this is not just a matter for our own sake, but for others as well. Many battles have been lost when the commander could not give instructions to a unit to bolster a weak point in the line because the lines of communication had been broken. This is another special element we must never forget.. The term is intercession, and intervention. Keep the lines of communication open not only for yourselves, but for others!
We are a army, and together we will attack the gates of Hell, and it will not prevail. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades shall not overpower it." - Matthew 16:18
You see, prayer is a very important element of the armor, for without it you are LOST and without instructions from the Master. Do not ever go into battle without first establishing that line of communication, not only for yourself BUT FOR OTHERS as well.
May God Bless the reading of His Word.