Ephesians 6:18-20 Sharpening one another’s armor through prayer
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, 19 and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul concludes the teaching on the armor of God by emphasizing the role of prayer in the life of the soldier. Prayer works in quickening the spirit of the inner man and strengthens the armor. Prayer also activates the angels in helping in the work of ministry in countless ways. Prayer causes the believer to be more sensitive to the move of the Spirit and flow with Him.
Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints …
Prayer empowers the soldier by putting on the whole armor and maintaining vigilance towards the enemies’ activities. Prayer sharpens our ability to receive God’s instructions through the belt of truth. Prayer strengthens our shield of faith to resist temptations and persevere towards the calling. Prayer increases our boldness and put on the shoes of readiness to proclaim the gospel. Prayer puts on the helmet of salvation that keeps us focused on the finishing line of our life goal. Prayer strengthens our breastplate of righteousness that wards off the accusations of the enemy.
Supplication is an urgent request made to God entreating Him to act. Therefore, we are to make supplications to sharpen the armor of other believers. Remember, the church community is like a chain that can only be as strong as its weakest link. Hence, we must cover our members with supplications to sharpen their armor against the devil’s attacks.
Prayers also keep believers alert of the devil’s ever changing strategies and deceptions. A praying community is able to discern the devil’s movements and expose them. Prayer strengthens believers in the Spirit, enabling them to persevere in the course of accomplishing their calling.
And also (make supplications) for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.
This time, Paul requests the Ephesians believers to pray for him, just as he prays that the Spirit of wisdom and revelations may be given to believers (Ephesians 1:16). The prayers of believers are able to sharpen the armor of Paul and quicken his spirit, so that words may be given to him to proclaim the gospel boldly and unhindered. One thing to note is that Paul’s focus is not his deliverance from prison but the proclamation of the gospel. Hence, we must learn to focus our prayers on issues that are critical; that concerns the Kingdom, and subsequently all other things will be taken care of.
- Prayer is the way God delegates His authority to believers to change the world. Through prayer, believers are entrusted with God’s power to do His work. Therefore prayer works in 2 ways: to quicken the working of the Spirit within believers, and to control physical circumstances through the workings of angels. Through this understanding, our prayers can be more directive and hence more effective. Our prayers become more proclamative and directive rather than tentative or suggestive. We could pray like this, “Let them be filled with wisdom and revelations of God’s divine will. And may His Spirit quicken and strengthen them to demonstrate in them the power of the gospel.” We could also pray, “I entreat the angels to nullify the agents of darkness in our coming mission trip and ensure safe passage.”
- In our lifestyle of dependence on the Spirit, we must leave room for the Spirit to take full control. Paul entreats believers to pray, “that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim…” Hence, believers must make a conscious effort to unite their thoughts and plans with that of the Spirit and let Him take full control. The Psalmist says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you.” (Psalm 19:14). Jesus says,
“So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute.” Luke 21:14-15.
In other words, as it is our responsibility to make adequate preparations. At the same time, do not be anxious even when we are not fully prepared. As we rest in the assurance and peace of the Spirit, we are confident that He will take full control over our words and actions when the critical moment arrives.
- Pray using the following process:
- Open your heart in obedience and ask God to reveal His will to you concerning your circumstances.
- Ask God to quicken the Spirit in you and in the believers by giving wisdom, strength and love to do His will in all circumstances.
- Ask the angels to assist while doing the work of the gospel. Be specific about what you want them to do and when to do it.
- Leave room for the Spirit to work in your life. Depend on Him to give you words to speak in critical meetings and appointments.
Dear Lord, I commit myself to pray for the Spirit’s strengthening in the believers. Cause me to depend on your divine guidance and operation as I yield myself to you. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.