October 16, 2017

Focus on Intercession: Soldiers of Christ

You’re probably familiar with the passage about the armor of God. Paul compares earthly battle armor with invisible spiritual armor.

Everything he lists is something a Roman soldier wore to protect vital organs or parts of the body crucial to fighting a battle. For instance, shoes — you can’t fight very well if your feet get cut off or mangled. Or a sword, to attack the enemy. Or a breastplate to protect the heart, or a helmet to protect the head.

Now imagine a battlefield full of soldiers. There’s mayhem all around: swords are clashing, horses are trampling over wounded men, and fierce screams overwhelm your ears. Every soldier is so focused on cutting down his enemy that he can’t spare any thought to protecting himself.

Now imagine a single man out there, in the middle of all that chaos, but he’s not wearing any armor. He can’t fight the enemy, because he has no sword. He can’t run, because his feet aren’t properly attired. He can’t even protect himself, because he has nothing on but jeans and a t-shirt!

Do you think he’s much good to his unit? Of course not!

Soldiers must be properly attired in order to fight! {<– tweet that!}

 

It’s kind of obvious in the scenario above, but what about on the spiritual battlefield? Read what Paul says:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the authorities, 
the cosmic powers over this present darkness,
against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

We fight these spiritual powers every single day of our Christian lives. Or at least, we’re supposed to.

But a Christian who is not clad with the belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness, who does not have shoes of readiness or the shield of faith, won’t be able to protect himself from the enemy’s attacks. A Christian who is not holding the sword of the Spirit won’t be able to resist the enemy for very long.

An un-armored soldier is useless in battle, both physically and spiritually. And while we are each responsible for our own state of readiness, we are also called to exhort one another and encourage one another. As in, help each other be prepared to fight the enemy.

Maybe that’s why Paul ends this passage with exhortation to pray for each other:

To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
and also for me, 
that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly
to proclaim the mystery of the gospel…
 that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to pray for each other! We need to pray that other Christians would be armed with God’s truth. We need to pray that Christians throughout the world would be ready to face the enemy, prepared to fight at any moment.

Will you join me in praying for fellow Christians, as we wrestle against spiritual forces of evil?
{click here to tweet about it!}

Focus on Intercession

Start by jotting down a short list of Christians in your local church, Christian leaders in your community, fellow believers online, and other believers in your neighborhood and family.

Suggestions for what to pray:

  • Pray that they each would have an increasing awareness of the spiritual battles that go on around us, and would be convicted of their need to be spiritually armed for battle.
  • Pray especially for your local body of believers, that each member would be girded with God’s truth and living daily in His righteousness.
  • Pray for specific members of your church to always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you… with gentleness and respect.
  • Pray for your loved ones who know Christ to be guarding themselves with faith, an unwavering confidence that God is who He says and will do what He promises.
  • Pray for your Christian friends to be in the Word daily, reading and studying and meditating on God’s truth — so that when the enemy attacks they will have ammunition in their arsenal.
  • Pray for believers in your community to be people of prayer, continually offering praise and supplication to God for all the saints.
  • Pray for specific Christians who are struggling in their fight against the devil, maybe flirting with temptation or floundering in difficulties. Pray that they would be strengthened and encouraged to keep fighting as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.
  • And as Paul concluded, pray for fellow Christians to be bold in sharing the Gospel.

 

Do YOU have any prayer requests? Share them in the comments, so we can pray for each other!

 

Comments

  1. Amen. Praying for you today, friend!

  2. This was so well written, E. You are very gifted. Loved the battle analogy.

  3. Valuable list of prayer suggestions. Thank you!

  4. It really is a battle isn’t it? Sometimes I forget we are battling something spiritual and much bigger than me, when I am in a disagreement or someone has hurt me. I like your suggestions, very useful!!

  5. Wonderful exhortation, Elizabeth! Thanks for the reminder that we are battling in the spiritual dimension. Too easy to forget.

  6. Very nice! Good to remember that it isn’t necessarily the person that’s giving you the problem as much as it being a spiritual battle they are being used in.
    Like the prayer list~ very good reminder to pray for everyone!!!

Trackbacks

  1. […] I feel like I’ve been writing some heavier stuff lately… about God judging the wicked, and His commands for steadfast righteousness, and the desperate need for Jesus in our country, and the spiritual battles that we face every day. […]