Pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. —Ephesians 6:18
God has given us prayer so that we may help each other stand. The devil is always scheming to cause us to fall. But God provides ways to help us stand victorious over the powers of evil. Paul warns us in Ephesians 6 against the devil’s schemes and the “powers of this dark world” that are constantly opposing us. Four times he uses the word “stand” to encourage us to hold out against the onslaughts of the “spiritual forces of evil” (Ephesians 6:11-14).
Standing our ground requires that we first “put on the full armor of God.” We are protected against the devil by knowing the truth, being righteous, having the gospel of peace, trusting God, possessing salvation, and using the Word of God in the right way. But Paul’s order to “put on the full armor” does not end with “take . . . the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” It goes on without a break to say, “Pray in the Spirit on all occasions.” In other words, the prayer support we give each other is an important part of our defense against the devil.
The prayer support required is all embracing. It’s “on all occasions,” of “all kinds,” “always,” and “for all the saints.” Imagine being in the midst of a fellowship of Christians who prayed for each other this way. The possibility of falling would surely be minimized.
God intends that all believers be strengthened to stand, as all take seriously the responsibility to always keep on praying, on all occasions, with all kinds of prayer for each other. That’s a tall order. It goes far beyond the kind of casual praying that most Christians are accustomed to. But those who pray “in the Spirit” can do it.
Gracious Holy Spirit, thank You for the amazing gift of prayer! I am in awe that at all times, on any occasion, and in multiple ways, I can come before the throne of Almighty God and intercede with power as You lead me! Show me how to support others as together we take our stand against the devil. Give me opportunities to teach other to seek You in this way so that we can keep one another from falling prey to his evil schemes. May our hearts be set not upon the things of this world but upon the purposes of the Father as we protect one another from stumbling into the traps the enemy sets for each of us. I long to see what You will do through Your people as we are strengthened to stand firm in the power of Your Holy Name!
–Adapted from Be Jesus in Your Neighborhood (Developing a Prayer, Care, Share Lifestyle in 30 Days) by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for his unswerving faithfulness in keeping all his promises and never forsaking his own. Give thanks that God gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should have everlasting life. Confess any unfaithfulness on your part to God. Commit yourself to being faithful to all our loved ones and to keeping all the promises you have made to them. Ask God to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to give you the confidence that you are a member of his family and know God as “Abba Father.”
Pray for your church’s missionaries (by name, if possible), asking the Lord to encourage and strengthen them and to keep them from loneliness, discouragement, spiritual attack, and burnout.
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