(cf. Eph. 6:10-18)
Christians are on a spiritual conflict. We struggle against the evil one as much as we struggle against our own selves. Disunity, apathy, false teachers are the schemes satan employs to make the church look in a bad light to the unbelieving world. The apostle Paul says we’ve got to be prepared to recognize that our personal opinion, our personal happiness, our personal choice, our personal preference have to be sublimated to the health and growth of the body of Christ. We sing the song “it’s all about You Jesus” but we live the life “it’s all about me”. The spiritual battle is connected directly with the Genesis 3 fall of man; becoming independent of God, and wanting my way no matter what the cost. The conflict continues and that conflict is basically “me” in every situation; wanting my will instead of God’.
There’s a real conflict, and Paul teaches us 2 things to win this war against self and the evil one. Number one weapon against all the forces of wickedness is a knowledge of the Word of God. You cannot have this knowledge by having the Bible on your coffee table. It must be read. It must be pondered. It must be prayed over. It must be read again and again. In context, the “helmet of salvation” is the Christian’s greatest need, and the “sword of the Spirit” which is the Word of God are theologically parallel – It’s the Gospel understanding. Keep the Word of God in your heart that you might not sin against Him (cf. Ps. 119:11). The second weapon in the Christian’s arsenal is prayer. “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” (i.e. Eph. 6:18). We should see our life as Christians as somehow affecting the world by prayer. It is true we have not because we’ve asked not. It is true that things don’t happen because we haven’t prayed. Prayer is that theological truth that human intellect, human knowledge, human organization, human resources is never enough in the spiritual realm – PRAYER IS!