Ready for battle

I was sitting in my living room watching The War Room a couple weekends ago with some girlfriends. The movie came up casually at book club one evening and when one of the girls said she hadn’t seen it, we knew we had to plan a movie night. I volunteered to host and we set a date.

If you haven’t seen it, The War Room is about a middle-class family who is facing the typical family trials––marriage is on the downward slope, daughter feels invisible, wife feels unloved, husband is devoting his time and energy into work and flirting with the coworker. The wife meets up with an older woman on the job and they start talking. A working relationship turns into mentorship and before long the older woman is teaching the wife all about her war room (which is a small closet off her bedroom specifically used for praying). The wife turns her own closet into a prayer room and everything slowly starts to fall into place. Not easily. And not all at once. But the minute prayer enters the story you start to see a shift in attitudes and emotions, and ultimately lives. 

That’s the point. Prayer changes things. It’s our battle cry when the war around us is raging. Paul ends his charge to suit up with Ephesians 6:18: “...praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” Prayer is a powerful weapon because it can reveal to us Satan’s attacks, our weaknesses, and where we need strength. When we draw near to God in prayer, He draws near to us (see Elisha’s story in 2 Kings 6) and we'll see victory and overcome the pull of Satan. 

James 1:2-3: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

The armor is important––it’s our protection and our weapon when we’re up against the enemy. But prayer is crucial. It’s the final element of the battle suit and it’s the piece that pulls all the pieces together. We’re not ready for battle until we’ve sounded our cry and petitioned the Father in the name of the Spirit. Prayer is going to be what anchors us in the fight and what changes the outcome. 

I've so loved diving into Paul's words and studying the armor with you over the past couple months. Ephesians 6 is powerful and it really does set us up with some amazing tools to take through life. I hope God spoke to you through these devotions and that your faith has been strengthened. You're not alone in this life-fight. I know it's hard and I know it's exhausting and painful at times. But we're in this together.

So let’s get ready to sound the cry tonight, friend. We’ve suited up. We’re standing next to our Commander. We have our hand on the sword and our feet are geared up to share the good news. Let’s pray and see how the atmosphere around us changes. And then let’s stand in the victory of a defeated enemy and the freedom of a triumphant King.

Ephesians 6:10-18: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. [Be empowered by God’s grace.] Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

“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. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. [Because of freedom we are able to stand in Christ.] 

“Stand therefore, having fastened on the
belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
“In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

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