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Prayer is a most important weapon in our spiritual warfare

Ephesians 6:12-13 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers,
against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of
wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will
be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

Ephesians 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view,
be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints,

Paul reminds his readers that they are engaged in a warfare. However, it is unlike any warfare
that men are commonly familiar with. This war is waged between the armies of heaven and
those of hell - it is a spiritual warfare, so that the opponents are invisible to the human eye. Paul
goes on to tell his readers that even though these forces are invisible to us, they are very real and
they are very powerful, and that the struggle that is taking place with them is our struggle. It
would be one thing if this war was happening in spiritual realms and we were uninvolved in its
battles and in their outcomes. Then Paul's information would be an interesting fact to add to our
general knowledge of spiritual matters. But no. Paul says this is "our struggle" (the Greek
indicates an intense struggle against strong opposition).

In other words, it is believers who are struggling, not with other humans, but with rulers, powers
and world forces of darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places.
They are the ones whom the Lord has enlisted in His army to fight this war. Reader, if you are a
true believer, this is your struggle too - this is your warfare too.

What chance do we stand against such foes? On our own, no chance at all, but we do not have to
fight alone. We have a Savior Who is Captain of the armies of the Lord and we have the Spirit
living within to strengthen us for the conflict. But we have more, says Paul. God has made sure
that we have weapons with which to fight this war and in verses 14-17 he lists Truth,
Righteousness, The Gospel, Faith, Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit. Do these weapons
work? Of course they do! Paul talks about us standing firm in this armor, being able to resist the
enemy (Eph 6:13). Paul speaks about the weapons God has given His army in another place:

2 Corinthians 10:3–53 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, 4
for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of
fortresses. 5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the
knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

But returning to our text above, look at the very next thing that Paul says after listing out the first
pieces of the Divine armor that are available to the believer. "With all prayer and petition pray
at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition
for all the saints," So prayer is closely connected both with our warfare and with our spiritual
weaponry - indeed prayer is itself a mightily powerful spiritual weapon, which gives power to all
the other elements of the armor. Without prayer, the rest of the armor will not function as it is
intended to do. Matthew Henry says this:
Prayer must buckle on all the other parts of our Christian armour, v. 18. We must join prayer
with all these graces, for our defence against these spiritual enemies, imploring help and
assistance of God, as the case requires: and we must pray always.

How shall we apply this to ourselves? It is quite obvious. If we are true believers then we are
(whether we know it or not and whether we like it or not) involved in an intense spiritual
conflict. God has given us armor with which we can stand against our enemies and win but that
armor is made powerful through prayer. So if we want to win this war, we must do it through the
weapons God has supplied and through prayer.

A local fellowship is a particular target for the attacks of the Enemy - and so are its leaders.
How shall the forces of darkness (who want to destroy the bride of Christ and sully His name
through her defeat) be pushed back? How shall they be overcome? Only as we pray and
especially as we join together and agree in God's presence concerning the things requested. So
take up your armor and come to the prayer meeting and let's seek God's victory in our midst over
all His foes!