Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
VICTORY THROUGH FASTING AND PRAYEREphesians 6 10-20
Verse: And 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 Lord’s people. Ephesians 6:18
The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians is written as an encouragement to the Christians in Ephesus as it is also an encouragement to us: an encouragement to live out our calling as Christians. The passage from Ephesians 6 is the famous “whole armor of God”. It begins: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” It’s fitting that Paul here wraps up his epistle to the Ephesians with a call to wrap ourselves up in the armor of God. For that is the only way we will be able to stand in the day of battle, and at the end of the day, to stand victorious.
Ephesians 6:10-20 defines what spiritual warfare is and how we actively fight against it. This passage defines the darkness that is against us, but does not leave us without hope but gives us steps to take in the strength of the Lord so we can stand against the evil one. We are made aware that what we face day to day is not all about physical difficulties, but as Christians, we face a much greater battle that deals with the spiritual forces of evil.
No matter how young or old we are, no matter how long we have been a Christian–man or woman, boy or girl – we are in a battle. It is a spiritual battle. Paul describes it like this: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” The fight is raging on the line between faith and unbelief, between reliance on God and pride in ourselves, between hope for the future and despair of God’s mercy. Our adversary Satan will attack our mind, attack our emotions, attack our body, attack our relationships, attack our soul. In all of these attacks, his purpose always is to get our eyes off our Savior Jesus Christ and his cross. So we need to be prepared for the battle! We are in it, and we will be in it, till the day we die.
Spiritual warfare may seem daunting, but we are given comfort throughout scripture, and particularly in Ephesians 6, that we are not fighting this alone, in fact, we cannot fight it alone.
In order to successfully fight this battle, we need to make sure we are equipped for fighting with the proper gear. The Apostle Paul reminds us how to be fully prepared to live the victorious life through Christ Jesus as people of God. We do this by daily putting on our protective gear called the "Whole Armor" of God. (Ephesians 6:13-17). So then, our six pieces of armor are the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of readiness, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit.
Paul closes this section with a reminder to keep on praying (Ephesians 6:18). Fighting spiritual battles requires us to be grounded in the Word of God and prayer for it is there where preparation for the battlefield begins. Prayer is taking God up on his promise by asking him for help. And our Lord has given us his promise: “Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.”
When it comes to spiritual warfare, there are no shortcuts. It is a daily battle. We have to daily call on God and confront the enemy. We have to read our Bible and spend time in prayer. Get in the Word every day to spend time with Jesus. The armor is also a picture of Jesus. Jesus is the truth, He is our righteousness and peace, the one in whom we have put our faith. He is our salvation, the Word that became flesh! Put on Jesus! The only way to win life’s greatest battles and have victory is to put your trust in Jesus.
Lord Jesus , help us to follow your footsteps and gain victory for our daily battles through fasting and prayer . Amen
Thought for the Day
You could say that prayer without fasting is like boxing with one hand tied behind your back, and that fasting without prayer is, well, dieting. - Matt Fradd