Are You Prepared to Pray?
When God created man He said that “man is created in His own image” (Gen.1:27). But what does that exactly mean?
Like a mirror, when we look into the mirror what do we see?
Christian’s often say “when I look into the mirror, I should see Jesus” or something like that. But is that what God means? I don’t think that is what is meant by created in God’s image. Nor is it something to do with His nature. If that were the case we wouldn’t have sinned in the first place.
More likely is that we are the mirror and God wants to see His reflection in us, to be His image. To be made in the image of God we have to be in communication with Him. Prayer. This is our communication with God since we no longer walk in the garden with God because of sin. Prayer is one way we can be a reflection of who God wants us to be.
Because of prayer and Jesus’ sacrificial atonement for sin to those who put their faith and trust in Him, we can go directly to God in repentance and talk to Him as a friend. Jesus is our mediator between God and us (1 Tim.2:5). Because of Jesus’ work on the cross, there is no need to go to another human man/woman to confess our sins and transgressions against God. We can go directly to God through Jesus with the Holy Spirit interpreting our feelings and needs that we cannot express. We don’t have to speak to God in a made up language or gibberish, we can talk to Him as a friend and have a conversation from our heart.
But when we pray, are we really prepared to face the spiritual battle that will often ensue? We often approach prayer with God as a wish list of requests that we need filled like a grocery list. But the Scriptures tell us to prepare to pray and get ready for a battle or a fight.
The Apostle Paul goes so far as to describe the armament of a Roman Soldier as to what we need to put on. Paul says that we first need to “stand up”.
1. Stand (Eph.6:14) Get ready to do something. It will be difficult making advances in battle by sitting down. Also in verse 13 Paul says to “stand firm”.
2. Belt of Truth (Eph.6:14) – Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and this is the foundation of a Christian’s faith. Without putting on the truth first the rest of the armament will fall off in battle.
3. Breastplate of Righteousness (Eph.6:14) – Jesus the one who can declare us righteous before the Father (2 Cor.5:21) if we are found in Him. Protecting our vitals. This is a picture of Jesus’ protection of us when we “put on” the belt of truth.
4. Shoe (Eph.6:15) – The Gospel of Jesus was walked out of Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth. We have to be prepared to “walk”, do something for His kingdom. Take the Gospel to our neighbors and to the ends of the earth.
5. Shield of Faith (Eph.6:16) – Regardless of anything you do, your faith will be a shied against the attack of the evil one and the precise aim he will take at you when you pray. So, make sure your faith is secure in Jesus.
6. Helmet of Salvation (Eph.17) – Like faith protects you and you can find comfort and security in it, so does your salvation. If you are in a saving relationship with Jesus, there is not need for the enemy to ask or tell you re you really saved…? Did God really say that…? You’re not worthy… The Helmet of Salvation is something that protects you and you don’t have to worry about someone, something taking it or you losing it like Satan would like you to believe.
7. Sword of the Spirit (Eph.6:18-20) – The only offensive weapon God gives us is His Word, the Scriptures. When we’re being attacked we can fight back with the Word of God, who is Jesus Christ (John 1:1).
All of this is to get prepared to pray (Eph.6:18). Pray for the things we need, His great provision and each other.
The Armor of God is for prayer. Are you praying? If so, be prepared to be attached by putting on the Whole Armor of God.
Ephesians 6:10–20 (ESV) (emphasis added)
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might.
11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
12For 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.
13Therefore 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.
14Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,
15and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.
16In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;
17and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,
18praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,
19and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
20for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.