“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests,” Ephesians 6:18.
Prayer is an act of worship that glorifies God and reinforces our need for Him. Prayer brings us into communion and fellowship with God.
A believer should look to prayer as their ultimate source of strength – it should never be an afterthought.
In Ephesians 6, Paul speaks about putting on the full armor of God: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit.
But in Ephesians 6:18, Paul concludes by talking about the most potent weapon in our Christian arsenal – prayer.
While prayer is not part of the armor of God, Paul knew just how essential it was to the Christian walk. Even when you are clothed with the armor of God, you need to bathe it all in prayer.
Paul states three very specific things about prayer, the first being that it must be constant.
All too often, we pray only in times of great crisis, but believers must realize that daily prayer is what brings us the most strength. In the words of C.S. Lewis, “Relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing had yet been done.”
The second thing Paul says about prayer is that it must be intense.
It is no secret that prayer demands focus and concentration. It is not uncommon to hear fellow believers say they’re struggling in their prayer life because it feels “unfocused” or “rote.” God knows that there will be times when we struggle in our prayer life. Still, we must always put our best efforts into focusing and being intentional with our prayers because unfocused prayer is not going to get anyone anywhere.
The third and final thing Paul says about prayer is that it must be unselfish.
This has to be by far the most difficult to digest, because, in its very nature, prayer can seem selfish as we ask God to provide, to heal, to comfort, and so on.
We’ve become a community of believers that petitions God to make things better—and more often than not, we make those requests for ourselves and not others. Paul is saying we must pray as much for others as we do for ourselves, which isn’t always easy.
Prayer is a powerful tool, and as believers, we must devote ourselves to it.
In Colossians 4:2, Paul tells us to persevere in prayer.
There will be seasons when our prayers feel unproductive or maybe even pointless, but it is in these times that we must be even more devoted to our prayer time.
It is in the times when we let our prayer life falter, or worse, become nonexistent, that the enemy will attack the hardest.
If we are not devoting ourselves to constant fellowship with God through prayer, we leave ourselves vulnerable to spiritual attack. Afterall, the enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).
May we all share the same feelings Charles Spurgeon had about prayer, who said, “Prayer has become as essential to me as the heaving of my lungs, and the beating of my pulse.”