Ephesians 6:18 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and keep on praying for all the saints. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”
In one way, there is nothing greater we can do for our spiritual battles than to pray. Prayer is our strength.
But seen from another point of view, prayer is the opposite of strength–at least our own strength. Prayer is an admission we are weak. We are requesting reinforcements, calling in an air strike from heaven. You see, prayer doesn’t work because there is something magical or mighty about the words we say. It works because we are no longer trusting ourselves. Prayer means that we are trusting our Lord and turning the battle over to him. We have learned to depend on his strength.
Nothing is too big or too small to make the concern of our prayers. Pray “on all occasions with all kinds of prayers.” Remember how the devil is always looking for an angle, always scheming? Take nothing for granted. I once heard a Christian scoff at the idea that meal prayers were very important prayers. But Jesus said them. Just don’t limit your prayers to your meals. Why not make God a part of everything?
Children’s bedtime prayers are cute. They are simple and innocent and sometimes touched with humor. As adults we may fall out of the habit. But who knows how many things God has done in response to a child’s request “to bless mommy, and daddy, and Sparky, and Mittens, and my teacher Miss Johnson, and my best friend Tommy…” As grownups our prayers can be richer and better worded, perhaps. But they aren’t better received, especially if we don’t remember to make them. “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.”
Then don’t forget that you are not the only one with a battle on your hands. “Always keep on praying for all the saints.” And don’t forget about your pastors. “Pray also for me.” We face all the same attacks on faith that you do. We need the courage to preach God’s word faithfully and fearlessly in a world which will not always like what we have to say.
Pray for the success of the gospel, the words that promise God forgives our sins makes us part of his family. Pray that those words find a permanent place in our own hearts. Then pray that they penetrate the hearts of others. That’s the way the spiritual battle is won, and our souls survive it safe and sound.