Focal Passage: Ephesians 6:18-22
Do you value prayer? Do you make time for prayer? Jesus, the Son of God, did. He valued communion with the Father – so much so that He carved out time to go to solitary places to pray. This week marks the end of the “connected” series as well as the end of the book of Ephesians. Paul, in his closing, emphasizes the importance of prayer. Not only is prayer interwoven in his final remarks to the believers in Ephesus; it is also listed as the last piece of the armor of God in Ephesians 6. For all of these reasons and more, we can deduce that prayer is not only valued but necessary and vital to the life of every Christ follower.
Prayer, as a crucial part of the armor of God, helps us to stand firm against the attacks of the enemy. John Piper defines it in this way: “Prayer is primarily a wartime walkie-talkie for the mission of the church as it advances against the powers of darkness and unbelief.” The church on mission is a threat to Satan. As believers, we must support the church with prayer. Prayer keeps us grounded in the strength of the Lord and in His mighty power.
Paul teaches us three principles in this week’s verses: we are to pray for each other, for the leaders of the church, and to stay abreast of how we can pray for others. Paul commands the believers to pray at all times in the Spirit with all kinds of prayers and requests (v. 18).
He then charges them to remain alert so they can continue to pray for the saints. The Greek renders this “as watching with all perseverance.” Just like Piper reiterates, we are at war (Ephesians 6:12). With the same kind of watchfulness as a soldier on the battlefield, we too must be attentive to the prayer needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only should we pray for each other, we must also pray for the leaders of the church. The apostle Paul coveted prayer. He recognized his need for others to intercede on his behalf so that he could proclaim the mystery of the gospel with boldness (v. 19-20).
Make a commitment to pray regularly for other believers, including your church leadership, beginning this week. Be intentional. Ask for specific ways you can intercede on their behalf.