10 In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [draw your strength from Him and be empowered through your union with Him] and in the power of His [boundless] might. 11 Put on the full armor of God [for His precepts are like the splendid armor of a heavily-armed soldier], so that you may be able to [successfully] stand up against all the schemes and the strategies and the deceits of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. 13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious]. 14 So stand firm and hold your ground, having tightened the wide band of truth (personal integrity, moral courage) around your waist and having put on the breastplate of righteousness (an upright heart), 15 and having strapped on your feet the gospel of peace in preparation [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news]. 16 Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people. 19 And pray for me, that words may be given to me when I open my mouth, to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news [of salvation], 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. And pray that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly and courageously, as I should.
We are at war! Even if we choose not to believe that statement, even if we choose not fight, even if we are unaware of it, we are still at war. Paul, is reminding us at this point that we are at war, but he gives us what we need to fight this war. First, he explains the armor we have been given. This armor is part of what God has given us through His son, Jesus. All of the armor is for our frontal covering because we are not meant to retreat!
Most of the time, even as Christians, we do not live our life like this is the reality. Our warfare, most of the time is to take our frustrations out on people (flesh and blood) instead of being aware what is happening around us. Satan wants to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10). However, Jesus came that we may have life, and have that life until it is full and overflowing. You see? This is two opposing forces. This life, that we have been promised, does not come without a fight.
E.M. Bounds said, “What a misconception many people have of the Christian life! How little the average church members appear to know of the character of the conflict and its demands upon them! How ignorant they seem to be of the enemies they must encounter if they are to serve God faithfully, succeed in getting to Heaven, and receive the crown of life! They scarcely seem to realize that the world, the flesh, and the devil will oppose their onward march—and will totally defeat them unless they give themselves to constant vigilance and unceasing prayer.”
Added to this full armor of God is prayer. Paul is saying this is the life force of that armor. We must move forward with the armor God has equipped us with, but we must not forget the life force of prayer that backs it up. It is as necessary as the air we are breathing now.
In the book of Romans, Paul urges us to strive together in prayer (Romans 15:30). That there is this process that is not easy. To press through the drudgery, crusty, hard, and cruel ways of the world to ensure that we move forward with God.
Jesus reminds His disciples of the same thing. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Be persistent and devoted to prayer, being alert and focused in your prayer life with an attitude of thanksgiving.
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober [well balanced and self-disciplined], be alert and cautious at all times. That enemy of yours, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion [fiercely hungry], seeking someone to devour.
Prayer is essential.
Think about the world you live in. Think about being connected to the greatest movement in this world. We should not be afraid—trying to avoid everything we don’t like in this world. Our God is good but not safe. We are to march with our battle cry into the warfare of this world, bringing down the strongholds and works of the enemy, and establish God’s Kingdom on this earth (1 John 3:8, John 20:21).
What are we waiting on?