“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”
We now arrive at the final item of the Armor of God. Or, so I thought. As I was studying it, I realized there are two in this verse: praying and watching. They are tied together, and are the only attributes for the Armor of God not attached to physical pieces.
The first is prayer. Prayer is one of the most powerful tools of the Christian. With prayer, we are calling to the Creator of our armor Himself to come and help us in our fight. What is prayer? Condensed from the definition in Webster’s dictionary, it is:
“A solemn address to the Supreme Being, consisting of adoration, or an expression of our sense of God’s glorious perfections, confession of our sins, supplication for mercy and forgiveness, intercession for blessings on others, and thanksgiving, or an expression of gratitude to God for his mercies and benefits. A prayer may consist of a single petition.”
It is the literal act of talking to the Almighty God, our Savior and Creator of the universe and everything in it. Notice how Ephesians states “prayer and supplication”. What is supplication? It is basically an earnest request. What this verse is telling us to do is cry out to God during the battle, pleading for Him to help.
But don’t wait until the battle gets rough and you get weak before crying to God. Ephesians says “praying always”. As soon as you find yourself under attack, pray. Don’t wait until you start struggling under the pressure. As soon as that first dart flies towards you, drop to your knees and plead to God for help.
1 Thessalonians 5:17
“Pray without ceasing.”
You see, even if you have all your armor equipped, you can still fail. That doesn’t mean it’s useless. No, not in the least. It will keep you protected against most of the enemies’ attacks. But when Satan himself begins to put on the heat, there is only one who can defeat him: God. Satan knows this, and will attack your prayer life. He will try to poison your mind with doubts, and try to convince you that you don’t have time for prayer, or that it doesn’t work. But it does work. For God’s Word says so.
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
I can think of a recent prayer that I wanted to see God answer, one that I thought would be impossible. I prayed that God would answer it within a week. When I started praying that, Satan hit me hard with spiritual darts of doubt. He tried to convince me that the prayer was silly and a waste of time. But with God’s help, I kept my shield of faith up and refused to let those thoughts keep me from praying. It was the beginning of the fourth day that God miraculously answered my prayer. I’ve wondered what would have happened had I let Satan stop me from praying.
Pray and seek God for guidance and protection. Never let Satan stop you from speaking to God, Savior of your soul and Creator of your armor. With Him beside you, Satan cannot hope to win. God can do great things in our lives, but many times is waiting for us to ask Him. How many times do we fail that simple little task?
The second part of the verse mentions “watching”. Watching means: “Being awake; guarding; carefully observing.” We need to keep a watch. We need to be consistently aware of our surroundings, looking out for any attacks that come our way. If we are not alert, Satan will come from the side and hit us where we’re not expecting. In Proverbs 7, it talks about a man void of understanding, who was not watchful and alert. He let himself walk right past temptation, and because of it, was destroyed.
Praying and watching are not attributed to pieces of armor, because they are the actions that are required with our armor. A soldier may be extremely skilled with his sword and may have shining armor, but if he is not aware of his enemies, nor of his leader’s command and position, he will soon fall. In the same way, we can have the Sword of the Spirit, the Shield of Faith, and everything else, but if we are not alert and looking for Satan to attack, nor in communion with our Father, we will fail.
God gave us everything we need to withstand against all the attacks of Satan and his minions, yet how often do we all fail! Thankfully, there is always hope.
“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:”
No matter how many times we fail, no matter how many times we allow Satan to defeat us, no matter how many times we do not look to God in our time of need, we can rise up again if we are truly saved. Why? Because the Holy Spirit is within us, and cannot fail; He will never let us quit, but will help us persevere to the end. Stay strong in the Lord, and do not give up! Equip the armor of God and don’t let Satan be the victor!